MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It was a sunny day at Hickory Ridge Elementary School and kids were busy learning all of the subjects they'll need to be successful in life. But some kids need a little extra help, and they receive it from a very special teacher's aide who could use a little help of her own.
Our play maker, Carol Pleasant, gave us the scoop on our recipient.
"That would be Mrs. Janice Franklin. She's more than a teacher's assistant here," she said. "If there is a teacher or a student in need, or a staff member, she steps up to the plate and comes to our rescue. She's always happy and humble. Mrs. Franklin stays late every day and tutors every grade level and every age, free of charge."
But life has presented her some challenges.
"Mrs. Franklin has two brothers. One is very sick, who she cares for, and one recently passed. She is still paying the hospital bill. Mrs. Franklin has 13 nieces and nephews that she raises. You never know the magnitude of her work load, because she just lives every day. She's just so understanding and goes above and beyond what is asked or expected," Carol said.
Honestly, at this point, I can't wait to meet Mrs. Franklin, but you know what comes first.
There is $300 from News Channel 3, and we have an anonymous donor in Nesbit, MS who gives an additional $300. That's a total of $600.
"Thank you Mr. Simpson for all you do in our community. She is going to be overjoyed," Carol said.
I joined our educators as we hit the hallways in search of our very special teacher's aid. We entered the gymnasium and the kids were in the middle of class.
The kids knew something was up. Our play maker, Carol, gave a special tribute to Mrs. Franklin. "Today, you will be rewarded. You're always giving from the heels of your heart. So today, they will reward you. So could you hold out your hand Mrs. Franklin?"
Carol counted out the cash, totaling $600. "Thank you for being our rainbow."
Mrs. Franklin was overcome with emotion.
It was easy to see why she is sol loved from being around her for just a short time.
"God has been so good to me, and I'm willing to give back to the people I love. And I love children, I love God and I love doing what's right for people," she said.
We could use a world full of people like Mrs. Franklin. A humble helper who is making a difference one child at a time.