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Kingsbury students get new computer labs, new library

The word "new" is getting used a lot at Kingsbury Elementary these days. The students started off the new school year with a new library and new computer labs. New computer software is on its way to enhance the curriculum.

Principal Shelly McGraw took the opportunity to show the Ironton Board of Education the new improvements at Thursday night's board of education meeting.

Last year, the school's collection of library books was housed on the stage in the gym. There was no space for it because all the rooms were used for classes. Consolidating the Kindergarten students at West Ironton freed up three rooms, one of which has been transformed back into the library it used to be years ago.

During the summer, parents took on the job of painting the room, outfitting it with shelves and organizing the books. One volunteer parent, Kim Johnson, hand painted a mural on the wall. The painting of a little girl on a magic sled filled with books was inspired by Mary Englebreit books. Another parent, Jennifer Leach, sewed curtains for the windows and pillows for reading chairs. Money for their supplies came out of their own pockets.

"We have parents who are dedicated to their children and are concerned about their education," McGraw said.

Parents even raised money to supplement grants to buy more books.

"Our PTO has dedicated this year's funds to enhancing the computer labs and to library improvements," McGraw said.

Even when the kids came back to school in August, some parents stayed on as reading volunteers.

Meanwhile, two former classrooms were converted into computer labs. Previously, each teacher had a few computers in each classroom; kids took turns using the computers during class.

During the summer, teachers got new computer teaching stations. The teacher's computers were then converted for student use, and collected in the two new labs. There are enough computers now for an entire class to study at the same time.

New Orchard Software has been ordered as well to supplement math, science, reading and language arts.