We all know that teachers really are a gift. They're made up of special kinds of people who choose to work with children and help mold them and shape them into the people they will eventually become. Teachers are some of the most selfless people there are, often willing to go to great lengths to help their students. One teacher in Virginia went so far as to give a student the shoes off his own feet so he could walk across the stage at his 5th-grade graduation.
June 12th was graduation day for a group of fifth graders from George Mason Elementary in Mason, Virginia. One young man experienced a wardrobe malfunction of sorts when his shoes broke just before he was set to walk across the school stage to graduate from elementary school. Initially, a guidance counselor took the student to see school art teacher Bradley Kopelove, to see if there were any art supplies that could be used to repair the shoes. When that didn't work, substitute teacher Vohn Lewis stepped up and offered his own shoes to the boy.
"Me being me, sometimes my heart leads me to certain situations," Lewis told CBS 6. "I said you can wear my shoes man, I wear a size 10." Kopelove posted the story on Facebook and it quickly went viral. The art teacher says she's thrilled that Lewis is getting the recognition he deserves.
"I almost cried, I was so thankful. That's just how Mr. Lewis is and I knew that I could count on him," said Kopelove.
Lewis, however, is downplaying all the attention. "It's really just something that I'd do any day for any child," Lewis noted. In addition to his job as a substitute teacher, Lewis is also a mentor in the Brothers United Mentoring Program for young men of color where he gets to work with young men and make an impact on their lives. "Just teach kids about themselves and things they're going to face as black men and just be that positive role model," added Lewis.
The teacher told the news station that he works hard to make sure his students and the young men he mentors always look presentable.
"If I see a child with a shoe untied or a collar messed up. I can't sit there and let him walk by or walk by," Lewis said. "I'll definitely walk up to them and let them know, and that`s just me."
Lewis said that once he gave the young man his shoes, he asked him to promise him something in return. "I told him that he had to make a promise to me because it was nothing for me to do something like that for him," Lewis said. "But he has to keep in mind that one day he's going to be in the position of Mr. Lewis and he has to do the same thing."
The world needs more teachers like Mr. Lewis.