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Marion County students encouraged to exercise their bodies and brains during vacation

By Rachel Hawkins

Times West Virginian

FAIRVIEW, W.Va. — Summer vacation has officially begun in Marion County as students cleaned out their lockers, packed up their books and danced out the doors of the schoolhouse.

 Students at Rivesville Elementary/Middle School run to catch the bus on the last day of school Thursday. Photo by Rachel Hawkins. 

Students at Rivesville Elementary/Middle School run to catch the bus on the last day of school Thursday. Photo by Rachel Hawkins.

Thursday officially ushered in the beginning of summer vacation as the school year came to a close.

Around Marion County, schools celebrated this week with parties, award ceremonies and, in the case of some high school students, final exams.

Eighth-graders now look forward to the halls of high school and drivers-ed training. Elementary school graduates look forward to changing classrooms, and high school juniors look forward to the one-and-done feel of their newly conferred senior status.

leaving school

A student at Rivesville Elementary/Middle School leaves school with her report card for the summer vacation Thursday.

But before all those new adventures come their way, the celebration of summer must begin.

Fairview Elementary School decided to celebrate just that with a beach day to end the year and a dollar to give to charity.

Fairview teacher Sharon Tiano has been the coordinator of WACKY (We Are Caring Kids, Yes!) days for 14 years.

She said it has been a tradition at Fairview to observe WACKY days every month, where students bring a dollar for an activity at the school and support a charity.

The tradition began when Fairview was attempting to build a new library and has continued as an attempt to give back to the community by supporting a different charity each month.

“After we built our library, we sent a survey out to our parents and they said they thought it was good to help kids give back to the community, so we started WACKY days,” she said. “We always give a character lesson about this is who you are helping and this is why you need to help that. It’s just not a dollar to wear a hat; it means something more.

“(The kids) are having a great time. They look forward to this all year,” Tiano said.

Principal Melyvn Coleman said Thursday’s WACKY day’s earnings are going to support the Relay for Life, with more than $300 raised just in the beach day.

“It’s fun, all fun for the kids,”he said. “The kids and the community are very receptive to it, and it teaches the kids good responsibility to help give back to their community.”

Coleman said the school year had been a transition year for his school, as they lost fourth grade and gained K-4.

“But overall, the students have done very well academically, so it’s been a very good year for us,” he said.

Pleasant Valley Elementary School principal Kimberly Middlemas said she was pleased with how the school year had run.

Some changes were made at the school this year, including adding a K-4 program and testing the Smarter Balanced assessment program. The school was also named a school of excellence for this year.

“Due to all of the parent involvement, I am anticipating next year to be just as successful,” Middlemas said.

She also gave her students a word of wisdom for summertime at Thursday morning’s assembly.

“Have fun,” she said. “Exercise your body, but also exercise your brain by reading every day. This summer, get into a good book. You may be surprised at how enjoyable reading for fun can be.”

Rivesville Elementary/Middle School students and teachers enjoyed their last day as well.

At 3:15 p.m. when the last bell rang, some students rushed out the doors, dropped their backpacks in the dirt and headed to the playground. Others ran to the buses yelling and high-fiving one another.

Teachers sang and danced with the students on the steps, and teacher Terry Morris said,“Everybody is ready for summer.”

“The school year has been a very busy one, but it has been a good one,”she said. “Ithink (students)need to get outside and play and have fun.”

Rivesville principal Mark Stutler said he thought students should have fun this summer, but they should also be safe.

“Stay safe, No. 1,” he said. “Be careful on those ATVs. Be careful swimming. Don’t forget to read a book; stay connected to something academic,” he said.

Students in Marion County will return to school for the 2015-16 school year on Aug. 20.

Read more from the region at

Email Rachel Hawkins at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @rachehawkinstwv.

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