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>>

  • UPDATE: Rail line reopens, derailment cleanup continues

    UPDATE: Rail line reopens, derailment cleanup continues

    ROCK (WVVA) - Crews were at the site of a train derailment in a remote area of Mercer County Wednesday. The derailment occurred Tuesday night in the Rock area -- near Montcalm -- across from Route 71..More >>
    ROCK (WVVA) - Crews were at the site of a train derailment in a remote area of Mercer County Wednesday. The derailment occurred Tuesday night in the Rock area -- near Montcalm -- across from Route 71.. More >>
  • Theatre W.Va. to return for 54th season

    Theatre W.Va. to return for 54th season

    BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) -- Theatre West Virginia is preparing to return for its 54th season following a shutdown caused by financial problems.The Register-Herald reports that Theatre West Virginia has scheduled 17 performances of "Hatfields and McCoys" this season...More >>
    BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) -- Theatre West Virginia is preparing to return for its 54th season following a shutdown caused by financial problems.The Register-Herald reports that Theatre West Virginia has scheduled 17 performances of "Hatfields and McCoys" this season...More >>
  • Woman guilty of four charges after running over employee

    Woman guilty of four charges after running over employee

    MERCER CO. (WVVA) - Dustie Beller was on trial for running over a woman with her car all for chainsaw. While she was found not guilty of attempted murder, the jury did find her guilty of petty larceny, conspiracy, failure to stop and render aid, and malicious wounding. The victim had this to say about the verdict. "Um very happy,” Mackenzie Ansley said. “To be expected -- the attempted murder charge. I knew coming into it, it was an iffy charge. And I'll take four out of five. And I'm happy w...More >>
    MERCER CO. (WVVA) - Dustie Beller was on trial for running over a woman with her car all for chainsaw. While she was found not guilty of attempted murder, the jury did find her guilty of petty larceny, conspiracy, failure to stop and render aid, and malicious wounding. The victim had this to say about the verdict. "Um very happy,” Mackenzie Ansley said. “To be expected -- the attempted murder charge. I knew coming into it, it was an iffy charge. And I'll take four out of five. And I'm happy w...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.

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.