A Marinwood third-grader returned to class in good health Thursday after she was struck by an arrow while on a field trip to Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science on Tuesday.
The arrow pierced the leg of 8-year-old Nadine Hairston, a student at San Rafael's Mary E. Silveira Elementary School, around 10:10 a.m. while she was climbing on a sculpture of a whale outside the science center, located at 1 Centennial Drive on the UC Berkeley campus.
She was taken to a hospital where the arrow was surgically removed. She was released midday Wednesday, school principal Will Anderson said Thursday.
She stopped by her classroom after her release, where classmates gave her get-well cards and hugs, Anderson said.
Nadine said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon that she just finished reading through all the cards, including those from her younger 7-year-old sister's second-grade class.
Her mother, Alicia Hairston, said Nadine is able to walk fine, but is not running yet.
After a full day at school, Nadine admitted this afternoon that her leg hurt "a little."
"She bounces back," Alicia Hairston said.
Despite the "nutty" start of the week, Nadine's return to school was well-received, Anderson said.
"We're trying to get her back to the normal scope of things," he said. "Like being in a school and in a learning environment."
The principal described Nadine as "exuberant, cheerful and smiley" and said that she has remained peppy and upbeat despite the bizarre incident.
"It's amazing this happened to her and she still has the same frame of mind," he said. "Nadine certainly doesn't harbor negative feelings."
Counselors were brought into the third-grade classroom Wednesday to help fellow students cope with the aftermath of the accident.
"We are trying to keep the community informed and calm," Anderson said.
Another third-grade class had a field trip planned to the Berkeley science museum Thursday, but the visit was canceled after the arrow incident, according to Anderson.
"We didn't want kids to focus in on the event instead of the learning," he said.
Meanwhile, UC Berkeley police are still investigating where the arrow came from.
Police are searching for suspects in the case and it is not yet clear whether the person who shot the arrow was aiming for Nadine.
Investigators are working to reconstruct the arrow's trajectory to provide more details.
A $1,000 reward is being offered, Hairston said, with the hopes of attracting more tips about where the arrow came from.
After Nadine was struck, parent chaperones handled her trip to Children's Hospital in Oakland while fellow parents informed Hairston about the shooting and a friend drove her to the hospital, Hairston said.
She said Nadine helped her stay calm once she arrived at the hospital.
"I knew it was better to not panic," Nadine said.
She said she enjoyed her hospital stay and became friends with the doctors and nurses.
When asked if she was considering a career in the medical field she asserted that she wants to be a kindergarten teacher when she grows up.
Nadine's weekly swimming lessons had to be postponed because of her injuries, Hairston said, so instead she was taking Nadine and her sister to the movies tonight.
"We just feel blessed," Hairston said.
Anyone with information about the arrow shooting is asked to call UC Berkeley police at (510) 642-0472 or (510) 642-6760.
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