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Black Fox Elementary surprises students on first day back

Some 4th graders were clapping and cheering when they found out the school had raised enough money to give all 522 students their own tablet or laptop to use at school. (Image: WTVC)

Students in Bradley County public schools headed back to class on Friday.

At Black Fox Elementary, administrators and teachers not only had something to help students with any back-to-school jitters, they had some kids jumping for joy.

Some 4th graders were clapping and cheering when they found out the school had raised enough money to give all 522 students their own tablet or laptop to use at school.

Principal Kim Fisher said it took them two years to reach their goal of $180,000. Fisher said it was made possible through fundraisers, the Bradley County Board of Education and the generosity of donors and business.

How important was this to the school?

Even some of the students donated their allowance, like First-grader Addy and Fourth-grader Emilee.

"We needed some laptops, and it'd be nice to see everybody have electronics in their classrooms," Emilee said. "I felt excited cause it made me happy that I was helping other people."

First-grader Camlyn said she's excited to have access to her own electrical device this year.

"It's like a game with a little bit of math squished into it," she said.

Fisher said students Kindergarten through 2nd grade will have an iPad, 3rd-5th will have laptops.

"We are so pumped up about this," Fisher said. "I can't wait to see the amazing things our boys and girls are going to learn using this modern technology

Besides surprising the kids with their new devices, Instructional Coach Amber Winters talked about the advantages of having the first day of school be a hlaf-day, on a Friday.

"We have the kids come in for just a couple hours, just to kind of get their feet wet for the new school year, so they don't have to worry about the rigor of a full day," Winters said.

Winters said it's also less stressful for teachers

"We get some stuff done, and we send them home for the weekend, and they're all geared up for Monday," Winters said.

But Black Fox teachers actually started help students get back to school ready last month when 17 groups of teachers went to nearly 350 homes to personally introduce themselves.

Along with the help of a local church, they raised enough money to provide back-to-school supplies for every child whose family may not have had the financial means to do it.

Kindergarten teacher Emilee Jones said it makes everything easier on the first day back.

"All the boys and girls came in with their backpacks. We've had kids come in who didn't have backpacks, so that's stressful for a kid," Jones said. "They look around the gym, they see everybody else with their school supplies, and they don't have any, so that just kind of takes that stress away."

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