Pay It 4ward: No playing it cool with emotional ice cream surprise

Morning Show crew hopes to inspire you with week highlighting good deeds

By Melanie Lawson - The Morning Show anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla - Not every day do you pull off a surprise like "The Morning Show" team did at Sallye B. Mathis Elementary School.

The end of the year is approaching, and many of the kids and teachers are burnt out. But we cooled them off with some ice cream from Blue Bell Creameries to recognize all their hard work.

Six years ago, the school scored a D, but it's moved up to a C and is now inching toward a B. 

The Title I school, which means it's in a high-poverty area, has a lot of educational resources, but our visit was about the fun.     

Bruce, Richard, Jen, Lena and I were hiding behind the curtain on stage in the lunchroom when the third, fourth and fifth graders came in. 

The principal, Katie Adkins, congratulated them on all their hard work. Little did they know the ice cream surprise that was coming their way.

As soon as the curtain was pulled, the kids went crazy!  Many of them watch "The Morning Show" with their families, so they recognized our crew. When they saw the ice cream, their reaction was a sweet surprise for us all.

I actually got a little emotional when I told them why we were there, and so did some of the kids. In the group of 150 children, one little girl couldn't stop crying once she realized what was happening.

We handed out the ice cream and talked with the kids and loved every moment of the experience.

The fun didn't stop there. Each class, even down to the 4-year-olds, got ice cream and some extra attention when they came in for lunch. It was a day to remember.

A special thank you to Blue Bell Creameries for its help with our surprise. Branch manager Doug Lipscomb jumped at the chance to be involved. He delivered and even helped hand out more than 500 cups of vanilla ice cream.

This week on "The Morning Show," we are showing you how we "Pay It 4ward," and this is just the beginning. Watch all week as we surprise local people who are doing great work in our community. 

We also invite you to pay it forward, if you can. Who's making a difference in your life? Sometimes the smallest gestures can have the biggest impact. We certainly learned that at our school visit, bringing smiles one cup of ice cream at a time.

If you're inspired, snap a photo of your random act of kindness and send it to jwaugh@wjxt.com or post it to Jen Waugh's Facebook page and tell us all about it.

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