Summers County girl attends school through a robot - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Summers County girl attends school through a robot

Posted:
  • More Local NewsMore Local NewsMore>>

  • New criminals added to APB list

    New criminals added to APB list

    (WVVA)- Three new wanted fugitives have been added to our All Points Bulletin list- including a man wanted for first degree murder...More >>
    (WVVA)- Three new wanted fugitives have been added to our All Points Bulletin list- including a man wanted for first degree murder...More >>
  • Database aids area fight against meth

    Database aids area fight against meth

    BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - Law enforcement officials gathered in Bluefield Tuesday to learn more about a national database used to fight meth crime.They're talking about NPLEx...More >>
    BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - Law enforcement officials gathered in Bluefield Tuesday to learn more about a national database used to fight meth crime.They're talking about NPLEx...More >>
  • Three-judge panel denies request to remove magistrate

    Three-judge panel denies request to remove magistrate

    Welch, W. Va. (WVVA) - The petition to remove McDowell County Magistrate Steve Cox has been denied...More >>
    Welch, W. Va. (WVVA) - The petition to remove McDowell County Magistrate Steve Cox has been denied...More >>
Hinton -

Today thousands of students attended classes at school, but not a Summers County girl.

Ellie Rhodes had leukemia and now has a weakened immune system so she must stay at home.

However, she is still keeping up with her studies thanks to 21st century technology.

Vigo the Robot is making it possible for Ellie Rhodes to attend 4th grade at Hinton Area Elementary School.  She had leukemia and now has a weakened immune system so she has to stay at home.

"I interact with everybody and do the work and not miss out on anything," says Ellie, speaking to us through the robot.

The Summers County School Board got a grant through the Hinton Area Foundation to pay for the robot. The pricetag is $5,700. Since the first day of school Ellie has been in class, dialing in from a computer at her house.

"It's important for her just to know she can get up and do this. She can do the work. She can see her friends. She loves her teacher. It's important for her to have that teacher interaction too," says Paula Rhodes, Ellie's mother.

She says the robot is giving her daughter a normal life.

"We're not thinking about leukemia at that moment. We're not thinking about cancer. We're thinking about school. We're thinking about something that has taken our focus off of what is going on," says Paula Rhodes.

Not only is the robot enabling Ellie to keep up with her schoolwork, it's allowing her to be with her friends in class which is an important part of the educational process.

"If you think about my best had cancer, you might be like crying, but then if you think about it in my way, it's more like lolliop land," says Maggie Stover, a classmate and friend of Ellie.

"It's pretty cool. I get to talk to her.  You never seen nothing like this. This is the first time I've ever seen one," says Nathan Graham, a classmate and friend of Ellie.

In fact, Ellie's teacher, Cathy Shank says her class will go up and hug the robot because they're happy to have Ellie in class.

"It's not a distraction of any kind. Lots of times if I am teaching from my elmo she drives up beside me instead of right here because she can't see the board real clearly. I may hear a little giggle here and there because she is driving up behind me," says Shank.

Shank says the robot is like actually having Ellie in class.

"She hears all the instructions on anything we do. She participates. She read 2 or 3 things out loud this morning. They were taking turns reading," says Shank 

Thanks to Vigo the Robot, Ellie Rhodes is just like any other fourth grader.

"Children thrive on routine. They thrive on social interaction," says Paula Rhodes.

She says her daughter is making such great progress in getting her immune system back to normal that doctors are telling her Ellie may be able to attend the last two months of school in person.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • UPDATE: Plea reached in 2009 Pizza Plus slayings

    UPDATE: Plea reached in 2009 Pizza Plus slayings

    Tazewell Co. (WVVA) - We have some breaking news out of Tazewell County. The man charged with the March 2009 murder of his parents has entered a no contest plea on two counts of capital murder with robbery.

    More >>
    TAZEWELL (WVVA) - The man charged with the brutal 2009 murder of his parents at their Tazewell County workplace will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Christopher Looney entered a no contest plea on two counts of capital murder with robbery during a special hearing in Tazewell County Circuit Court Wednesday.
    More >>
  • Official: Air Algerie flight 'probably crashed'

    Official: Air Algerie flight 'probably crashed'

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:29 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:29:23 GMT
    The official Algerian news agency says an Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from the radar.More >>
    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, officials said. France's foreign minister said no wreckage had been found,...More >>
  • Breaking and entering suspects caught in their underwear

    Breaking and entering suspects caught in their underwear

    Mount Hope, W. Va. (WVVA) - Two juveniles are caught breaking into two businesses and police say they were found nearby wearing only their underwear...More >>
    Mount Hope, W. Va. (WVVA) - Two juveniles are caught breaking into two businesses and police say they were found nearby wearing only their underwear...More >>
  • Princeton man sues GM over wife's crash death

    Princeton man sues GM over wife's crash death

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife...More >>
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife...More >>
  • Lawsuit filed after run in Charleston canceled

    Lawsuit filed after run in Charleston canceled

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn't be issued...More >>
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn't be issued...More >>
  • Makeshift bomb explodes near convenience store

    Makeshift bomb explodes near convenience store

    Bill JarrellBill Jarrell
    Raleigh County (WVVA)-One man is in custody after a makeshift bomb explodes inside a convenience store.According to police, it happened Tuesday evening at the Little General in Rock Creek, Raleigh County...More >>
    Raleigh County (WVVA)-One man is in custody after a makeshift bomb explodes inside a convenience store.According to police, it happened Tuesday evening at the Little General in Rock Creek, Raleigh County...More >>
  • Non-Profit Organization Hosts Advanced Defensive Driving Course

    Non-Profit Organization Hosts Advanced Defensive Driving Course

    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- A non-profit organization is providing a unique learning opportunity for drivers, both new and experienced.Instructors with "Team Safety Driving School" conducted an advanced defensive driving course at Bluefield City Park today.The training employed in this driver's course is the same training that emergency personnel from law enforcement to EMS must master to do their jobs, and it's open to the public.There are still slots available for tomorrow's course if you would like ...More >>
    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- A non-profit organization is providing a unique learning opportunity for drivers, both new and experienced.Instructors with "Team Safety Driving School" conducted an advanced defensive driving course at Bluefield City Park today.The training employed in this driver's course is the same training that emergency personnel from law enforcement to EMS must master to do their jobs, and it's open to the public.There are still slots available for tomorrow's course if you would like ...More >>
  • Bluefield Elks hosts swimming lessons for children

    Bluefield Elks hosts swimming lessons for children

    BLUEFIELD, W. Va. (WVVA)- Swimming lessons for children were in full swing this morning over at the Bluefield Elks.Today's class consisted of kids ranging from kindergarten to third grade that attend the Wade Center's summer enrichment program, which enrolls kids all the way up through high school.
    More >>
    BLUEFIELD, W. Va. (WVVA)- Swimming lessons for children were in full swing this morning over at the Bluefield Elks.Today's class consisted of kids ranging from kindergarten to third grade that attend the Wade Center's summer enrichment program, which enrolls kids all the way up through high school.

    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVVA.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Audrey Sluss at (304) 324-0659. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.