Five-year-old students sing ‘happy birthday’ in sign language for 60-year-old janitor who is deaf

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The heartwarming gesture of a group of young kindergarten students towards their 60-year-old deaf janitor has captured the hearts of the online community. In a touching display of inclusivity and kindness, these little ones learned sign language to surprise their custodian, James Anthony, on his 60th birthday.

Situated in Tullahoma, Tennessee, Hickerson Elementary School was the backdrop for this heartening event. On October 23rd, the children, under the guidance of their teachers Allyssa Hartsfield and Amy Hershman, combined their efforts to sing a heartfelt rendition of ‘happy birthday’ in sign language. The recipient of this beautiful gesture, Mr. James Anthony, was profoundly moved by the display of affection.

The moment was captured on video and shared on Hickerson Elementary’s Facebook page with a caption that read, “Our kindergarten classes learned how to sign ‘happy birthday’ for Mr. James’ birthday today. He was so surprised!” The video has since garnered an impressive 128,000 views and showcases the children, mimicking their teachers, signing the birthday song to Mr. Anthony. His genuine shock and the warmth he felt from this unexpected celebration were palpable.

In a conversation with Good Morning America, Allyssa Hartsfield shared that Mr. Anthony’s reaction was nothing short of ecstatic. As tears welled up in his eyes, the entire class, including the teachers, was moved by the emotion of the moment. Following the performance, Mr. Anthony expressed his gratitude, telling the class that their gesture was the best birthday present he could have received.

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While Mr. Anthony had been part of the Coffee County School system for over two decades, this particular act of adoration left an indelible mark on his heart. Amy Hershman highlighted Mr. Anthony’s significance within the school district, revealing that his tenure stretched back nearly 30 years. The children’s excitement and quick grasp of the sign language song truly touched his heart.

This beautiful act of kindness is a reminder that children, untainted by prejudice or bias, innately comprehend the language of love. Instances such as this one illuminate not only the compassion within these young hearts but also the dedication of educators like Allyssa Hartsfield and Amy Hershman, who nurture such benevolent behaviors among their students.

In a world where acts of kindness often resonate deeply, the tale of the kindergarten students at Hickerson Elementary School serves as a poignant reminder of the boundless power of simple gestures. This event signifies not only the impact that young hearts can have on others but also the importance of fostering empathy and understanding from an early age.

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