Heartland teacher uses his voice to put smile on students’ faces

Heartland teacher uses his voice to put smile on students’ faces

DU QUOIN, Ill. (KFVS) - A Heartland teacher joins in on the effort across the United States to make students smile during the pandemic, and he’s doing it in a creative way.

Eric White is an art teacher at John B. Ward school in Du Quoin, but that’s not the only thing he does.

Back in 2013, his co-workers and students learned he likes to sing.

“I like to greet them with a smile, and I like to send them home with a smile,” he said.

He writes songs and sings them to students every Friday.

“I usually look at lyrics of other songs and kind of plug in the right rhyme,” he said.

And with COVID-19, he makes songs to help students cope with what’s going on.

“Kids are staying in their individual classrooms and aren’t moving around,” he said. “It’s different and strange, so I just wanted to make a song about all those new things but also let the kids know that we’re all still here for them.”

Teacher Jaquelin Brand and his wife Kelley White said his singing uplifts the student’s spirits.

“He gets the kids excited every morning and also Friday evenings as well,” said Brand.

“It encourages them. We have kids and it encourages them to make up their own songs and put a positive spin on them.”

As for White, he hoped his singing helps kids see school in a new light.

“I think it reminds them that people really care about them and it’s not just a place to come learn arithmetic,” he said.

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