PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – The auditorium at Mercer Elementary School in Princeton is roaring with cheers and excitement on Tuesday, as Gov. Jim Justice and Baby Dog stop by to award them with $50,000 for being one of the winning schools taking part in the “I Got Vaxxed” Competition.
“Today we just found out that we have won $50,000 for our school participating in a contest that was done throughout the state with all of the schools, and we had one of the highest vaccination rates,” says Lena Adoulhosn, Title 1 Teacher at Mercer Elementary.
It’s a voluntary initiative launched by Gov. Justice and the West Virginia Department of Education at the start of the school year. It encourages eligible students, faculty, and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Mercer Elementary is one of the 12 schools to win.
Much like the other winners, the school plans to use the money for activities and to improve students’ experiences.
“$50,000 can go to a lot of good here at our school, our robotics club, our field days, book clubs, and all of those activities,” she says.
The school prepared quite a presentation for the governor and Baby Dog, singing them songs, filling the stage to greet them, and showering with cheers and applause.
Gov. Justice and Baby Dog graciously accepted the warm welcome, along with congratulating the school on their efforts at keeping everyone safe.
“All of this really and truly at the end of the day boils down to all of us pulling the rope together, you see, that’s what makes it work, it goes right back to smiling along the way because it’s tough, this journey is tough,” says Governor Justice.
The schools were encouraged to have the students take a poll to learn how they would like to spend the funds so that everyone felt included in participating.