A substitute teacher in Richmond, Virginia recently allowed a graduating fifth grader to walk in his shoes for a day – literally.

After learning that a student’s shoe had come apart right before graduation, Vohn Lewis generously removed his own shoes from his feet, Inside Edition reports.

Art teacher Bradley Cook Kopelove attempted to glue the boy’s shoe back together but didn’t have much luck. So, she began asking teachers if any of them wore the same size shoe as the student.

She  recalled:

 “I said, ‘One of the teachers must have a size 10 shoe.”’

That’s when she spotted Lewis and approached him asking for a “huge favor.” Lewis quickly realized what happened to the student’s shoe and the nervous look on his face.

He said:

“Just take my shoes.”

And so, the two swapped shoes. Kopelove captured photos of the entire exchange.

Mr. Lewis gave the shoes off his feet to help a student who’s shoe broke right before 5th grade graduation!…

Posted by Bradley Cook Kopelove on Wednesday, June 12, 2019

She wrote on Facebook:

Mr. Lewis gave the shoes off his feet to help a student who’s shoe broke right before 5th grade graduation! #thisiswhatarealmanlookslike #integrity#rolemodel  made my day! Thank you for looking out for our boys and creating a positive moment during a potentially terrible one for our student.

Although the graduate easily walked down the aisle to get his diploma in the instructor’s shoes, Lewis didn’t make it far in the student’s broken footwear. So, he just sat on the bench until the ceremony ended. 

Kopelove described Lewis as a very engaged and caring instructor. She said he is “always around in the halls, tying shoes, trying to help our young people look their best.”

As Inside Edition reports, Lewis said:

“I just want kids to be mindful of their value. A lot of kids come out of their house in the morning without getting a balanced meal. So you’ve got a kid sitting in school for hours thinking only about food.”

For Lewis, being a teacher means being a role model because “you’re always on stage.”

While partially paraphrasing Frederick Douglas, he said:

“It’s better to build a strong child than to rebuild a broken man. Children are sponges, they need to be shown how to be a good person.”

After the graduation ceremony ended, the student rushed back to Lewis in an effort to quickly return the borrowed shoes. However,  the instructor told the student and his mother to enjoy the festivities. When they finished, he’d be right there on the bench “with one shoe and one broken heel.”

About the author

I am a journalist from the D(M)V, who is just trying to make every day count.

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2 Replies to “Teacher Takes off His Own Shoes After a Fifth-Grader’s Breaks Apart Just Before He’s About to Graduate”

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    That’s what a teacher role model and a great caring man looks like thank you

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    Humankindness at its best!

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