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|Excitement in air as school begins|
All eyes were on first grade teacher Wanda Blackwell Wednesday as she read part of a reading assignment to students at Jack Hayes Elementary.
In the school's pre-kindergarten class, teacher Kambra Wilkes and assistant Dorothy Brown led 4-year-olds through activities on their first day at school.
Parish students returned to school Wednesday for their first full day of classes. At Jack Hayes, excitement was in the air as administrators, teachers, staff and students returned from their summer vacation for another year of school.
"The teachers are anxious to get back," said Patty Ellerman, assistant principal.
"They've had time to regroup over the summer and they have brand new ideas that they're excited about trying," Ellerman said. "I think the children are excited about coming back. They're ready to see their friends and get into a routine. Everybody's excited, especially the little ones because they all want to come to a big-girl school or a big-boy school."
Ellerman said Jack Hayes has several new activities and projects planned for school children this year.
One of those new activities or projects is a behavior program.
"We feel that will have a major impact on our school as a whole," Ellerman said. "We're working within the classrooms to teach the children what we want them to do and how we want them to act, rather than just thinking they already know that coming in. That's one of the major things we're implementing this year."
"At Jack Hayes we try to have a lot of fun," Ellerman continued. "We have the talent show, a basketball tournament and a fall festival. We have a lot of fun things planned."
The fall festival, held each year around Halloween, involves the entire community. Each teacher sponsors a game and children can earn prizes at each activity.
"We try to involve the community as much as possible," Ellerman added.
All parish schools will implement a new reading program this year so students will have new reading materials and workbooks.
Ellerman said teachers are especially excited about the new program because it will give them new material to teach their students.
"The activities and stories are updated and they're more current," Ellerman explained. "Of course, you'll have the classics, but some of the stories were a little dated. I think it helps for interest for the kids to have something more current."