Teachers go extra mile to walk elementary students home from school

Teachers go extra mile to walk elementary students home from school
Schneider walking students home (Source: Facebook)
Schneider walking students home (Source: Facebook)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - At Whitney Achievement Elementary, close to half of the students live less than two miles away from the school and they walk home. However, a group teachers decided that was too far for the smaller students to walk alone. They are going the extra mile.

Carl Schneider moved to Memphis through a two-year Teach for America program.

In spite of the challenges in Frayser and at Whitney Achievement Elementary, Schneider chose to relocate to the Bluff City from Colorado.

He has since earned his master's degree at Christian Brothers University and is now in his third year teaching special education at WAE.

"The love and the tenacity and the passion of my students inspires me every single day," said Schneider. "They are just incredible people and they are ready to work hard and they believe in themselves and there is so much hope here and that's what I love about Frayser."

Schneider is among the group of rotating teachers who have voluntarily been walking students closer home to their apartment complexes after school since 2013.

However, it was a photo snapped by a passerby and posted to Facebook Monday of Schneider that captured the hearts of hundreds of people.

Schneider said it is about building relationships and connecting with the kids on another level.

"We can just kind of talk and hang out, find out how their day was, what their behavior was like, what they learned; it's really fun," he explained.

Community engagement is a core value at Whitney.

"I feel like they are my friends, my best friends," said first grade student Victor Cooper.

Schneider said the walk home keeps his students safe, but he also views it as an investment.

"I think that the kids in Frayser deserve the same high quality of education that the kids in Germantown are getting and I really see the work we are doing here at Whitney as an important way to create that equity in America."

If you know any teachers who are going above and beyond for their students, send us an email to desk@wmctv.com.

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