Reading schools honor unsung heroes

READING, Pa. - Six-year-old Liam thinks his dad is Superman.

"He's the best dad I ever had," he said.

Together they play, and wrestle, and go on adventures.

"I love him," Liam said.

His father, Leroy Johnson, always helps out at school. When 16th and Haak Elementary called asking for help, Johnson went right over. To his surprise, he found the entire school waiting for him in the auditorium.

Turns out, they think he's a hero, too. Cheers, claps and confetti welcomed Johnson into the auditorium as teachers thanked him for his continuous help at the school.

The ceremony was one of many ceremonies throughout the Reading School District. Each school honored its own 'unsung hero' as part of the district's 'Dude Be Nice' week.

"We see you, we appreciate you, and it's been fantastic," said Kristin Boyd Edwards, the Reading School District's director or communications.

Last year, a video of the first 'Dude Be Nice' event went viral.

"Dude Be Nice is based in California. They do really cool videos and work with high school students to honor unsung heroes," Boyd Edwards said.

This year, all schools in the district took time to recognize kindness.

"That expression of love and admiration, we're able to build lots of momentum over that," said Khalid Mumin, the Reading School District superintendent.

The students seem to agree.

"I think everybody loves it," said Reading High senior Annie Heredia-Gibson. "It's like a day that you take out time to recognize somebody for something good that they do,".

Reading Mayor Wally Scott declared the third Thursday of February as 'Dude Be Nice' Day in the city.

"It's really cool that the school district came up with that. It makes you smile," Scott said.

From staff, to family members, to community members, each school honored someone exceptional.

"They were like, 'This is for you,' and it still didn't sink in," said Johnson.

"He's like a dad superhero," said Liam.

Johnson loves helping out at his son's school. He never expected a thank you.

"I've served in the military. I've done quite a few other things, but this is the biggest honor I've ever had bestowed upon me," Johnson said.

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