Hospitalized Oconto third-grader attends school through ‘walking’ iPad

Despite being hospitalized for cancer treatment, Oconto Elementary School third-grader Elysia Mireles is still attending classes and interacting with her friends through the marvels of technology and the efforts of very caring school staff. Elysia attends class virtually via an iPad mounted on a Segway-type device on wheels that allows her not only to interact verbally with the teacher and her classmates but to maneuver around the classroom or even down the hall.

Elysia is unable to be in her class in person because she has been diagnosed with Stage 4 High-Risk Neuroblastoma and is being treated at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay and Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. But thanks to technology Elysia can still be part of her classes at Oconto Elementary, keep up with her studies, and maintain her friendships.

“This has taught more than reading and math,” said teacher Melissa Sowle, who is a WEAC member, quoted in a Green Bay Press-Gazette article. “I think it has brought us all together.”

“She is an inspiration to all of us, she wants to be here, she wants to take the tests, she wants to read, and she is just an amazing little girl,” Sowle added on WLUK TV.

This Green Bay Press-Gazette/USA Today article by Kent Tempus features WEAC members Melissa Sowle and Brian Larsen:

Read entire article in Green Bay Press-Gazette:

Robot stands in for student in Oconto class

One day last week, students in Melissa Sowle’s third-grade class at Oconto Elementary School were learning about how to calculate the area and perimeters of shapes. When they broke into groups of three or four to solve some problems on their own, Elysia Mireles joined in.

Watch video on WLUK TV, Green Bay:

Using technology, Oconto schools Making A Difference for sick student

In Mrs. Sowle’s third grade classroom, there is one student that doesn’t sit in a desk. She likes school and it’s hard for her to feel like she is missing out and now she doesn’t have to feel that way, said Malisa Mireles.

Want to help Elysia’s family with their medical expenses?

Donations can be sent in care of Elysia to:

Oconto Elementary School
810 Scherer Ave.
Oconto 54153