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Robotic Technology Helping Sick Young Girl Feel Like She's In Classroom With Friends

CHADDS FORD, Pa. (CBS) -- A sick girl in Delaware County is able to stay in school, thanks to modern technology. Teleconferencing is helping the kindergartner feel like she's in the classroom, even when she's learning for home.

Lots of kids may pretend to be a robot at one point in their childhood, but for one special Chadds Ford Elementary student, being a robot is a bit more real. She's able to share the experience with her classmates, while learning in the process.

5-year-old Sarah Kinsey may not be physically there with her classmates at Chadds Ford Elementary, but she is ever present via teleconference technology. An iPad and robotic mechanism allows her to participate in class with her fellow kindergartners.

chadds ford elementary
Credit: CBS3

"Sarah has a host of complex medical needs and most recently, she was sick in January and it caused her gut to shut down completely," Sarah's mom, Lisa Kinsey, said.

Sarah has been on homebound education to prevent any risk of infection while she recovers. But thanks to a robot, she's not missing out on the classroom experience.

"It was just Sarah at school, but from home, and Sarah, being who she is -- she loves her classmates and she loves school -- we wanted her to be as normal as we could," Kinsey said.

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Sarah is quite the rockstar among her classmates. It's a fascinating presence for the 5-year-olds, and for Sarah, as well.

"From our student perspective, I think it was really important for Sarah to be still involved with her class and see her peers," teacher Maggie Eisenhower said. "And from the children's perspective, they were able to interact with her and they were able to talk with her daily."

Sarah hasn't missed a beat, getting her classwork don and falling in line with her classmates in the hallways. The robotic technology is bridging the gap for a little girl on the mend.

State Senator Tom Killion was also on hand at the school Friday to see how the technology works. State legislators have unanimously passed a bill that would give grants to schools throughout the state, so they can have access to the technology.

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