Students walk the red carpet at Fairplains Elementary

PARKERSBURG – Kids and their parents got to walk the red carpet Thursday morning at Fairplains Elementary School. Staff at the school greeted students with hugs, handshakes, balloons, props and photos to kick off the start of the school year.

“They are the stars,” said Sonya Ashby, the school’s technical integration specialist.

School principal Liz Conrad said educators wanted to open the year for kids with a “wow” moment.

“We talked about how kids have their “wow” moment at the end of the year – with a trip to the zoo,” she said. “Why wait? Why can’t they feel special now?”

Conrad and Ashby stood outside to welcome students and their parents as they arrived at the school building. Inside, a row of teachers stood alongside red carpet greeting children and their parents with hugs and handshakes.

Students could get their photos taken using props- such as goofy sunglasses, top hats, umbrellas and picture frames. Props were donated by the Downtown Specialty Bakery.

Staff members came up with the red carpet treatment for students to kick off the year, Conrad said. But that’s just the start. Conrad said each teacher has special events planned over the next two weeks to transition students into the new year.

“It’s up to them,” Conrad said of the teachers. “But they have all planned something.”

Conrad said they have about 234 students this year.

The paparazzi pictures will be displayed Saturday during the school’s ice cream social, open house and PTA kickoff.

Ashby said they were also collecting autographs from all the students.

“We believe they will all be famous someday,” she said.