Learning ability improved for kindergarten student

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

HOXIE, AR (KAIT) - When our children go to school we send them with all the tools they need to be successful.  When the school year started it was clear one classroom would be different.  To learn, one student needs a little extra help and now her school is shaping the future of her education.

A teacher knows every child learns differently.  Learning is different for kindergartner MaKenzie Corley.

"She likes to learn just in general.  She likes to learn about the world around her," said Corley.

A world she can't see.  MaKenzie is legally blind.  Her mom Jennifer Doyle said MaKenzie is diagnosed with Horizontal Nystagmus and Strabismus.

"She would get real restless and I think it was because she was bored because she couldn't see what we could see," said Hoxie kindergarten teacher Joan Borah.

Seeing what's going on around her, especially at a distance is almost impossible.

"She would have to be four inches at least from it and a lot of times it's closer than that she'll put it just right in front of her eyes," said MaKenzie's mom Jennifer Doyle.

"I couldn't see too good and I had to stand in front of everyone else," said MaKenzie Corley.

"She would try to get up close to me and right up in front of the other children and in front of me to see what we were doing," said Borah.

To help MaKenzie learn, Special Education Director Colleen Sears said she contacted the Easter Seals loaner program and borrowed a machine for MaKenzie to use for a limited time.

"It has a camera on top that she can manipulate herself she has a remote control that she can control the colors and zoom in on the teacher," said Sears.

After the trial period the school had to give the machine back and her teacher noticed a big difference.

"I didn't realize how important it was until we didn't have it," said Borah.

"She wasn't able to independently read the text or they had to be so close to her face that the district thought it was vital," said Sears.

That's when the school stepped in and decided to purchase the machine at just under $3,000.  Now MaKenzie has no trouble seeing what all the other kids see.

"It doesn't matter that she can't see as well as the other kids she's just like every other child," said Doyle.

The machine MaKenzie uses will stay with her as long as she is a student in the Hoxie School District.

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