For One Student, Grade School Custodian Has Keys To Happiness

You’ll love this Good Vibes story

By kncitom on April 5, 2021
STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT – AUGUST 26: A custodian cleans ahead of the return of students for the upcoming semester at APPLES Pre-K School on August 26, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. APPLES is part of the Stamford Public Schools district and is scheduled to begin the fall semester with a hybrid model on September 8. Students will attend class every other day and take part in distance learning from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Some of the most influential people in education are the ones who are there before school opens and still there when everyone else has gone home.  

Custodians. 

I don’t know about you but at my grade school, we had Mr. Birch, a kind old guy with about a million keys on his belt loop and always quick with a knock knock joke. 

In Edenton NC, at White Oak Elementary, it’s Raymond Brown. Mr. Brown has been the custodian there for over 30 years and the students and staff love him. The principal says year after year, Mr. Brown is THE most popular person on campus.  

So much so, he was a finalist last year for N Carolina’s School Hero Award.  But he didn’t win.

And that didn’t sit well with one mom.

Adrian Wood’s son Amos attends White Oak elementary. Amos has autism, and he was struggling with school until he formed a special bond with Mr. Brown (this was all the year before Covid shut everything down) 

Amos’ mom says pretty soon, Mr. Brown gave the then-7 year old Amos the nickname Famous Amos. And after that, the most amazing thing happened. She says the students who had previously avoided her son began befriending him- inviting him to play at recess and saying hi to “Famous Amos” in the hallway. She said it changed her son completely. He still has autism, of course, but you could tell he loved the attention. He had friends now. He smiled more. All because the most popular guy on campus took the time to make Amos his friend. 

So when Adrian Wood found out Mr. Brown was passed over for that school hero award, she decided to do something about it. Unbeknownst to him, for the last year Adrian, school staff and parents had been quietly fundraising and this past March 20th, Mr Brown was surprised at a socially-distanced assembly with a check for 35,000 dollars.

And while they didn’t have a statewide honor to hand him, they did have something that was a lot more special: Raymond Brown was honored with the very first “Famous Amos” award.

And that, as we say, is your Good Vibes for the day. 

See a pic, and read more about Mr Brown, and Amos, by clicking here