Mercer County schools reopen with celebration - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Mercer County schools reopen with celebration


When Mercer County schools reopened today, Oakvale Elementary started with extra school spirit.

Staff portioned out more than just lunches, serving the first day back to school from West Virginia's work stoppage.

Students prepared for tests and ate in the lunch room -- everyday essentials some students might have missed out on over the break.

"It seemed like the kids we just really ready to go , excited to be back, and just fell back into normal routine," said Teresa Inman, the third grade teacher at Oakvale. 

"I said I miss you because it's fun sometimes with your teacher around because they actually appreciate you," said Jacklyn Hickson, a fifth grader.

"It's amazing because our children ... we've really been concerned about them being hungry ... I feel like today they won't go home hungry. They'll go home with a full belly, and with their bellies fun, they'll be able to learn, and they can concentrate more on their school work. I just love doing that for them," said Imogene Terry, a cook.

The days off may not have been part of the schedule, but they did become a teachable moment. 

"If they were to ask me [about the work stoppage], I would try to explain to them, that around the state, educators, service personnel, law enforcement and state employees wanted to address some issues in a positive way."

Teachers also said the day was about creating a positive environment, to signal to students doors are open, and it's learning as usual.

 "Yesterday, we all decided that we were all going to wear our positive shirts or  school culture shirts.  We've missed them, we're happy that we're all together. And we care about them even when we're not here," said LaCosta Hodges, Oakvale Elementary principal. 

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