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Lakota students thrill at watching sun disappear

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Watch excited Lakota students react to Monday's historic solar eclipse.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

For a couple of hours Monday afternoon almost every school child in Butler County studied that exact same thing — a historic, near total eclipse of the sun.

Clear weather and protective glasses allowed thousands of local students to view the celestial event that hasn’t been seen to this extent in Southwest Ohio since 1918.

ExploreWATCH: See how the historic eclipse of the sun looked locally

Nearly all of the 735 students at Lakota Local Schools’ Endeavor Elementary in West Chester Twp. stepped outside minutes before the peak eclipse occurred to watch as 91 percent of the sun was blocked by the moon.

Students at Lakota’s Endeavor Elementary spend some time outside viewing the solar eclipse through approved solar glasses Monday, Aug. 21 in West Chester Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Students at Lakota’s Endeavor Elementary spend some time outside viewing the solar eclipse through approved solar glasses Monday, Aug. 21 in West Chester Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Thanks to protective glasses purchased by the school’s parent teacher organization, the students were able to safely view the rare phenomenon, which will not be seen again in this region until 2024.

Teachers and parent volunteers closely monitored the Endeavor students to assure they used their protective glasses properly to safe-guard their eyes.

ExploreRELATED: Schools scramble to prepare for historic eclipse

Endeavor school parent Abigail Pryor came to school to share the historic event with her child.

“I’m excited to share this with my child,” said Pryor.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Take a look of a timelapse of the eclipse taken in the Miami Valley.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Fellow Endeavor parent Stacey Lang, joined her daughter Riley on the school playground to watch.

The young student said, “I think it’s really cool. It’s really interesting to look at it (the sun) because it’s this little orange strip and the rest is covered.”

A few area schools closed Monday rather than risk students suffering visual damage while others extended their hours allowing students to stay inside during the roughly three-hour eclipse window.

Endeavor and officials at other area school districts allowed parents to opt their child out of outdoor eclipse viewing. For those students, schools offered live-stream coverage of the event they could view.

ExploreMORE: Eye damage from eclipse can show later: What you need to know

Some local districts such as Fairfield, which opens Sept. 5 and Middletown, which begins classes Tuesday, were spared having to make such decisions regarding how to handle the eclipse.

The planning and extra effort was worth it, said Andrea Blevins, principal of Endeavor, which is the biggest elementary in the 22-school Lakota school system.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Most Stunning Moments From The Total Eclipse

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

“They (students) are learning about this in class and now they can come outside and experience it. That’s the most exciting part of this,” said Blevins. “And our staff is excited because they have never taken part in something like this either.”

“Teachers have been doing lessons on the eclipse since we started the new school year last Wednesday and there’s been a real buzz about this,” she said.

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