Students start off the first school day with a warm welcome and high fives

Students start off the day with a warm welcome and high fives

Today was the first day back to school for School District 186 in Springfield and they kicked off the school year the best way they could - with a bunch of high fives.

Often, students can find the first day of school can be a little scary but Matheny-Withrow Elementary School found a way to give the students a cheerful entrance.

"I can’t imagine walking into school being a little bit intimidated and seeing all of this and seeing the support behind you and just knowing you’re going to have a great day,” Donna Reeves, director of community engagement with Central Counties Health Centers, said.

The students were greeted by high fives and cheers as they arrived for their first day.

"We've got the Springfield Police Department, Ameren, we've got city officials, school board members," District 186 superintendent, Jennifer Gill said.

"Oh, it makes your heart smile,” Reeves said. “I mean it’s just a wonderful feeling. We just want these kids to succeed."

This is the third year the school does this pep rally and Gill said she can tell the kids enjoy it.

"Oh, they are just smiles,” Gill said. “Some of them are in shock. Some of them are a little shy because we really do make some noise but we are really happy to be here today."

Gill said the pep rally shows the students how much the community cares about them.

Hazel Dell Elementary School in Springfield also started off the day with a similar pep-rally.

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