During one of the first days of school, a Florida elementary school put on a “College Colors Day.” Basically, all of the students in the school were encouraged to wear their favorite college teams colors at school.
However, when a student didn’t own any gear from his favorite school, he got creative.
According to the student’s teacher, Laura Snyder, the young boy loves the University of Tennessee Volunteers. So the boy grabbed the closest color t-shirt he had in his closet, a piece of white paper, and drew his own version of Tennesse’s logo.
9/5/19 at 9:15pm – I don’t even know where to begin. I am so incredibly amazed at the outpouring of love and support…
He then pinned the piece of paper to his t-shirt so as not to ruin it forever. Snyder explained on Facebook:
Last week, my elementary school participated in college colors day. When I told my students about this day a week before, this particular child came to me and told me that he wanted to wear a University of Tennessee shirt, but he didn’t have one. We discussed that he could wear an orange shirt to show his spirit. He told me every day leading up to it that he had an orange shirt that he was going to wear.
However, despite how excited he was to show off his creation, Snyder said the student was bullied for his creativity.
And it crushed him:
So when the day finally arrived, he was SO EXCITED to show me his shirt. I was impressed that he took it one step further to make his own label. After lunch, he came back to my room, put his head on on his desk and was crying. Some girls at the lunch table next to his (who didn’t even participate in college colors day) had made fun of his sign that he had attached to his shirt. He was DEVASTATED. I know kids can be cruel, I am aware that it’s not the fanciest sign, BUT this kid used the resources he had available to him to participate in a spirit day (one that I celebrated all week: Go Noles)! I plan to get him a University of Tennessee shirt, but was wondering if anyone has any connections to the University of Tennessee. I wanted to make it a little extra special for him. If anyone has any contacts that they’d be willing to share, please let me know. Thanks!
And found a connection, she did.
Shortly after sharing the original Facebook post, it went viral. And in an update, the teacher said she couldn’t wrap her head around all of the kind messages the young boy has received as a result.
— Smokey (@UTSmokey_00) September 7, 2019
Snyder continued saying that “because of this, my student will be receiving an awesome care package from the University of Tennessee tomorrow morning.” And the care package went above and beyond making sure the student had everything he could need for game days:
UT really outdid themselves!! I was so excited to surprise my student today!! I’m not even sure I can put into words his reaction. It was so heartwarming. My student was so amazed at all the goodies in the box. He proudly put on the jersey and one of the many hats in the box. All who saw had either goosebumps or tears while we explained that he had inspired and touched the lives of so many people. When I told him that his design was being made into a real shirt and people wanted to wear it, his jaw dropped. He had a big smile on his face, walked taller, and I could tell his confidence grew today! Thank you to the UT Nation for that!!
Snyder added that they were sent so much stuff that the boy was even able to share the package with his classmates.
9/6/19 – UT really outdid themselves?!! I was so excited to surprise my student today!! I’m not even sure I can put…
The other students “were ecstatic” as well and could wait to start using all of the new “swag” they had just received. But perhaps the most touching moments of it all was seeing all the “high fives, hugs, [and] pats on the back” the boy got from his fellow classmates.
And it gets even better. The Vols organization didn’t just send them a bunch of gear, but they also took the student’s unique design and made it into an official University of Tennessee t-shirt.
Share in a Florida elementary student's Volunteer pride by wearing his design on your shirt too! Pre-order today for a late September expected delivery. A portion of proceeds from every shirt sold will be donated to @STOMPOutBullyng .https://t.co/NdnTtYREFL pic.twitter.com/OeTZvgC09Y
— VolShop (@UTVolShop) September 6, 2019
As the school’s official Twitter account revealed, it was in such high demand that their website crashed when it finally went on sale.
The Vols spirit was definitely felt In my classroom today! THANK YOU so much so all who have made this such a positive experience for my student, and also showing the rest of my class what it’s like to come together and be kind. Personally, I’m looking forward to wearing the shirt he designed. It’ll be the one and only piece of orange clothing that this Seminoles fan will ever wear!