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School Completely Transforms into 'Wizard of Oz' To Welcome Students Back on First Day

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The summer has come and gone, and back-to-school supplies have been on sale for weeks.

Every year, good teachers spruce up their rooms, review their lesson plans, and do everything they can to prepare to educate a new group of students.

In many areas, that means the teachers also pay out-of-pocket for their renovations and supplies to ensure that every child has the best chance possible in the new year.

But one school has gone above and beyond. Eagle Ridge Elementary School is definitely in the running for the title of “most creative” updates.



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The hallways glisten with a yellow brick road leading students from class to class. The Wizard of Oz has taken over the school, and even the principal and her dog fit the theme!

Teachers had freedom over the summer to decorate their rooms the way they wanted to, with each one having the opportunity to highlight their own interests and passions in a way that would be inspiring to their young charges.



“I think it is so important for us as educators to meet (students) where they are,” Jill Kersh, a teacher at the elementary school, said. “Kids live in a world of wonder and if school is drab and uninviting – they don’t engage nearly as well as they could.”

Teachers took their decorating jobs seriously, and spent their own time and money to polish their classrooms.



“I would just come up in the summer and work 4 or 5 hours here,” Kersh said, according to NBC, “4 or 5 hours there and it was just so much fun to do.”

It’s more than just pretty walls and inviting spaces — these rooms are made to inspire the kids who attend. There’s a larger purpose behind the posters and the color-coordinated teacher shirts.



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“We know if their hearts and minds are taken care of first, then kids are going to learn and that is our ultimate goal. I want them to feel loved,” Kersh said.

“I want them to feel excited. I want them to go to sleep at night excited to come to school the next morning and walk in the doors on fire to learn.”

The decor was also made possible by a grant the school received, and because of the hard work of family and friends.

“I haven’t ever been as proud of them as I was this summer because some teams came together and they painted each other’s rooms,” Stacy Blevins, the school principal, said. “They helped each other decorate. I think not only has it transformed our building, it’s transformed our staff.”

And, as Principal Blevins said, “If kids want to come to school, that’s half the battle.”

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