It’s late October but for nine-year old C.J. Herron, Tuesday was his first day of school in the third grade at Brenham Elementary School. Kellie Fontenot, the Educational Diagnostician for the Brenham School District says C.J., was born prematurely and, as a result, suffers from a compromised immune system. Even the slightest cut, a cold or any other minor affliction can be life threatening. Ms. Fontenot says this also meant he couldn’t go to a regular school classroom, until now.
Fontenot says she heard about a robot from a television documentary she saw several years ago that could effectively go to school for him. She checked with the Education Service Center in Huntsville and found there was one available. On Tuesday C.J.’s robot went to classes at Brenham Elementary while C.J. stayed at his Chappell Hill home, getting the lesson.
The robot has C.J.’s face on it and his classmates can interact with him through the four foot high machine. C.J., has a laptop computer at his home and appears on a video screen on the robot.