Imagine the wonder of introducing kids to a new world. That's the task of lower elementary school teachers. In this edition of Tools For Teachers, we introduce you to a much-loved first grade teacher in Florence.
The saying goes that in early education, children start by learning how to read. Later on, it's about reading to learn. In one classroom in Florence, it's a little bit of both.
"Her classrooms are amazing places to go into because you feel a learning environment when you walk into the classroom," said Kenny Barfield, Headmaster at Mars Hill Bible School.
Crystal Delano's first grade classroom is full of color and energy. Those are key ingredients for the little Panthers learning how to read.
"Things that tell you it's a complete sentence, Emma Kay, what is one of them?" Delano asks a student.
All eyes and ears are intently placed on Miss Delano.
"They love her and she loves them," said Barfield. "Miss Delano is one of those multi-faceted ladies who is just special in every aspect of her life."
"She is the most wonderful teacher," said Nanci Andrus. "She just does everything right."
Andrus nominated Delano for Tools For Teachers, saying her grandson gets the best education imaginable. Andrus could barely contain her excitement on camera.
"I am so excited she won this," Andrus said.
So, let's get down to business!
"We have a special guest today," Barfield told the class. "I don't know how many of you know about WHNT's Tools For Teachers. They have a special award for a special teacher. If you will hold out your hand!"
"Oh thank you," Delano replied. "Wow!"
The kids were all smiles and Nanci finally got her chance to say thanks.
As for the money? This response came as no surprise.
"My children love to read and they have worn out the books we have," said Delano. "So I think we can buy some really great books."
Opening the door to a new chapter in life.
"By the time they end first grade they can read just about anything that you put in front of them," said Delano. "And that makes me feel good to know they are going to use that skill the rest of their lives."
Do you have a teacher, coach or aide you'd like to recognize? Tell us about this person.