Kindergartners have a role model in their carpenter - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Kindergartners have a role model in their carpenter

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February 20, 2008

Albany -- A Dougherty County Schools' carpenter has learned a lesson from 20 unlikely teachers.   It's a lesson about how to be thankful and show appreciation.   That lesson came from a class of 20 kindergartners who inspired Avery Jones to show his gratitude in a song. It's created a partnership that blossomed into a project.

It's easy to see the special bond that's been forged between facilities carpenter Avery Burns and Hope Gresham's Live Oak Kindergarten class.  "I'm happy to see him," said student Nyland Johnson.

It started last year when the class adopted Burns, who helped finish construction at Live Oak. They've sent him thank you notes and holiday gifts.  "Mr. Avery, he always does good for us," said student JaCoria Gardner.

 It caught Burns off guard and inspired the carpenter and song writer to express his thanks in a song called "I Wanna Be Like You." 

"I always wanted to write a kid song and that was the perfect time to do it," said Burns.

When Burns played the song for Live Oak Secretary Michelle Scharnikow it inspired her to take it a step further. "A role model is just someone who does good and in this instance, the children were the role model, they did good and it inspired Avery, which inspired me to take it further," said Scharnikow.

 It's shown everyone how contagious a simple thank you is and how little minds can inspire great things.   "It just sort of took me back to my younger days and I just wanted to picture myself as them," said Burns.

 "A child can give you that innocence again, slow down, look at a child playing, stop and smell the roses," Michelle said.

It's a relationship that's motivated Avery Burns to give his work all he's got. Like Oak Elementary is currently working to get a copy of the video for each student who inspired Avery Burns.

They also encourage other schools to build these types of relationships with the staff.

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