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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – As the moon began to eclipse the sun Monday, a group of students, parents, teachers, and community members came out onto the front lawn at Monte Sano Elementary to watch the show in the sky.

“The last time I saw an eclipse, I was actually in elementary school myself,” explained Kevin Taylor as he put his arm around his daughter. “This was really special to be able to come out and see it with her today.”

Taylor and his daughter sat on the lawn to watch. He said he did all he could to keep her safe while viewing the event.

“She doesn’t like wearing her glasses,” he said. “She hates wearing glasses, so I keep having to tell her that if you look up you have to put these glasses on!”

This was a learning experience for many. Educators at Monte Sano have been preparing for days, even weeks. They hosted optometrists and other special guests in classes to teach the children about safety and prepared eclipse lesson plans so the students could follow along on Monday.

“The teachers have been excited. They have given lesson after lesson about the solar eclipse and what better way to learn than by doing?” said Sharon Driggers, Principal of Monte Sano Elementary. “I see a lot of students learning and not knowing that they’re learning.”

She added that NASA donated glasses for each student, and the adult to student ratio for the younger ones was 1:1 so the children’s eyes were protected.

Nikki Humphrey brought her son, Quintin.

“Just to share this experience with him, I thought it would be awesome,” she said. “It’s kind of fun to see the different phases, and shapes and colors, the sun is going through.”

“It’s neat, it’s really neat,” said Taylor.

Driggers said it was good to have everyone together.

“We have made it a family event,” she said. “This is a once in a lifetime.”