Mr. Rogers’ famous “look for the helpers” line always seems so important to remember when a new school year begins. And helpers aren’t just teachers in the classroom—they can be anyone working at a school that cares about children.
And in the case of Texas student Kenlee Bellew-Shaw, one of the helpers ended up being Passmore Elementary custodian “Ms. Esther.”
Bellew-Shaw, who has autism, was struggling with cafeteria noise and covered herself in a blanket and laid down on the stage. In a now-viral image, Ms. Esther lays down beside Kenlee and gently puts her hand on the child’s back to comfort her.
“Our school custodian is literally the best, sweetest individual in the world,” wrote Kenlee’s mom Hollie. “The Hippy wanted no part of being in the cafeteria this morning with all the noise so she laid down w/her blanket on the stage. When Ms Esther saw her she cam and laid next to her and patted her back.”
“All schools should be so lucky to have their own Angel on campus. Feel free to share so she can get all the appreciation & thanks she totally deserves.”
The school district also shared the image, captioning the photo with “Sometimes you just need to take a break!”
Kenlee adores Mrs. Esther,” Bellew-Shaw said. “She always greets my daughter with kind words and a hug which is so special to her.”
Autism Speaks, which is an organization “dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support” shared the story as well.
“This goes to show you that a kind word, a hug and a little compassion are all it takes to make a huge difference in a child’s life,” the Alvin Independent School district wrote. Truth!