GARDEN PRAIRIE (WIFR) -- As this school year comes to an end, a group of local kids may not be as happy for summer break as some others. Their school is closing due to budget cuts. But parents aren't letting students say goodbye empty-handed.
Kishwaukee PTO members in Garden Prairie unpack and sort tablets. We stopped by the school two weeks ago when they prepared the devices to give to students as a surprise. They wanted to do something nice after learning Kishwaukee Elementary will close next year to help reduce a budget deficit in the Belvidere School District.
"It's very sad around here, you're talking students, staff, all of them are sad," says Kishwaukee PTO President Holly Houk.
But parents hope the mini computers bring a smile to kids' faces. Today every student was surprised with a tablet.
"I was like really happy because all I have is an iPod Touch," said fourth-grader Aston Martin.
"I think it's going to be cool to have something bigger to play on and stuff," said Meadow Cox, another fourth grade student.
Kids will likely take photos and video on the tablets but parents are hoping for a use that's more educational.
"They could download books, reading, they can get on the Internet, research for projects," said Houk.
Students say the tablets will make learning a little more fun.
"It has math games and stuff. I really like the math and science stuff so I think I'm going to be playing a lot of those games," said Martin.
The PTO bought 218 tablets, one for every family at Kishwaukee. They cost nearly $29,000. The money comes from several fundraisers, so the PTO wants to thank all who helped.