Greenville elementary teacher featured on Nightly News' Inspiring America

Published: Feb. 21, 2017 at 9:01 PM EST
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A local elementary school teacher that's inspiring other teachers and even the nation, is being recognized on NBC Nightly News' Inspiring America series.

Michael Bonner made a splash on The Ellen Show back in January, talking about how promising to make his South Greenville Elementary school second graders a music video if they passed their next test. They did and the music video went viral.

Ellen then flew out Bonner and his whole class in February to appear on the show and make another music video.

Click the link on the right side of this page to see the Nightly News story featuring Bonner and his class and how they're inspiring America.

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From South Greenville Elementary School to the Ellen Show, Michael Bonner made his second appearance on the show, this time with his second grade class that captured our hearts with their music video about reading, learning, and doing well in school.

"I think they were blown away and to be honest with you, I think it will not hit them until they're a little bit older, the magnitude of that experience," Bonner says.

An experience he says started with one simple idea to help his students retain information.

$130,000, three flat screen TVs, 5 iPad minis, and a free week-long trip to California are just a few of the incredible blessings his class and his school have received from this national exposure.

"We have to continue to perform and be better every single day," he says. "And they understood that and that meant a lot to me because that means, 'Mr. Bonner, we're finally grasping everything you're saying.'"

He tells his kids to dream big, work hard and believe in themselves.

Principal Lakeesha Lynch also got to go on the trip, along with five other staff members, and says it was an unforgettable opportunity.

"Most of them haven't even left Greenville and, you know, to get on a plane, to fly halfway across the country by themselves, without their parents, that experience in itself was mind-blowing," Lynch says.

The fun trip was also educational. She says the students got to practice math, social studies, and many other topics in a real-life setting.

As far as what the money will be used for, Lynch says they haven't quite figured it out yet.

They have met with their school improvement team to start brainstorming for ideas that would benefit the students, but would also be sustainable over time.

Bonner didn't confirm any future public appearances, but says if the opportunity presents itself, he is willing to shed more light on his amazing school, the teachers, and the students.