TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Every morning, you'll find Joyce King standing outside one Tupelo apartment complex on Lawndale Drive waiting for the bus.
She is alongside several students, who she calls her babies.
Joyce is a longtime member of the custodial staff at nearby Pierce Street Elementary.
Her granddaughter just started at the school this year.
Joyce could drive her grandchild, but she worries about all the others who might have to walk by themselves.
Joyce King said, "I really don't have to walk her. I could ride her but there's so many more kids. They have a hard time getting across the street so I help them get across the street."
Joyce starts her day more than an hour earlier than she has to, in order to safely get the children to school.
The young people say they appreciate it.
One student said, "Ms. Joyce is the adult out here. She's a good lady!"
Another student said, "It's good for us not to get hurt and she doesn't want us to get hurt."
Joyce King said, "I hope they don't feel like I'm trying to take over because I'm not. I'm just trying to help the kids because I love kids. I feel like if I help get them to school, I know they'll be safe."
Along with walking the children to Pierce Street School, Joyce also makes sure other students safely catch the bus from this location to other schools in the city.
Pierce Street Elementary Principal Kenneth Goralczyk said, "Doing things like that, to build that trust with parents, it'll put the trust into the school that we're doing our jobs everyday."
City leaders say they're working on a plan to get more sidewalks in Tupelo, including ones in the Pierce Street School neighborhood.
Joyce King said, "Some of them call me Mama Joyce. I said we are working on us a sidewalk and when we get that sidewalk, all of our names will be printed on that sidewalk."
But until that happens, Joyce says parents and students here can count on her watchful eye each and every morning that school is in session.