RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Kids are on the fast track to learning in the Pre-K class at Stellar Minds Learning Academy.
"We're not just babysitting here, we're teaching," said Brenda Weavers.
Veteran educator Brenda Weavers curriculum covers a lot of concepts.
With 30 years teaching experience she can whet a kid's appetite for learning with little more than pasta and paste. Weaver's patient, loving manner makes her kids eager to learn. Parents tell me that enthusiasm is priceless.
"My daughter thinks the world of her," said parent Shannon Simpson.
And teachers like Weaver are woefully underpaid.
"I know that they don't make a lot of money sometimes it's hard for them to take care of their own basic needs," said Shannon.
Shannon nominated her daughter's teacher because of her classroom skills and challenges outside the classroom.
Shannon Simpson: "I've overheard her some morning speaking about not having oil in her tank for heat in her home and stuff like that, so it hurts my heart to hear that."
Sabrina Squire: "I have $100, $200, $300."
Mark Simpson: "It's real nice to see somebody do something nice for her."
Then we take off for our pre-school field trip. Shannon called ahead to check with the director. We walk into the middle of naptime, and catch the teacher wide eyed with surprise.
Shannon Simpson: "This is Channel 12 news."
Brenda Weavers: "Oh my goodness!"
Shannon Simpson: "I sent them an e-mail and I nominated you for the Acts of Kindness."
Shannon explains why she's paying it forward.
Shannon Simpson: "Because you do such a good job here and you love the kids so much that you deserved it."
Brenda Weavers: "Oh thank you so much."
Shannon Simpson: "You're welcome, I have for you $100, $200, $300."
Brenda Weavers: "Oh my goodness."
Shannon Simpson: "Just to help you a little bit."
Brenda Weavers: "Thank you! Thank you!"
Ms. Weaver says she's always enjoyed teaching.
"I also home schooled my own children for 14 years," she said.
Decades later, she still proclaims she has "the best" students, and the most supportive parents. Nothing she says is more rewarding, although the cash is a nice bonus.
"I'm going to help my elderly friend with her heating bill," Ms. Weaver said.