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Louisville teacher spends summer preparing students for the new school year

Bobbi Jo Matney taught summer school at King Elementary this year, preparing a group of five and six-year-olds for their first day of first grade.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The first day of school for Jefferson County Public Schools is less than two weeks away. Many teachers had the summer off to regroup after a tough school year, but that wasn't the case for everyone.

Bobbi Jo Matney taught summer school at King Elementary this year, preparing a group of five and six-year-olds for their first day of first grade this fall. Many of these students had never been in a classroom before due to the pandemic, so Matney played a transitional as well as an educational role this summer.

"I love and care about them every day and I want the best for them," she said. "I want them to learn, I want them to be successful in first grade and beyond."

Academics were an important part of the curriculum, but they weren't the only things these kids learned this summer. From walking to the cafeteria to playing games together, the students learned how the school day works, and how they should act.

"I love social, emotional learning. I think you have to do that before any academic content."

Monique Bell, Matney's teacher's assistant, said she and Matney play an invaluable role as they not only educate students but also prepare them for the next step in their lives

"Teachers are more than just teachers. We are whatever role needs to be filled at that time," Bell said.

Contact reporter Kristin Pierce at kpierce@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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