For the Florida fourth grader’s elementary school’s “College Colors Day,” he wanted to represent the University of Tennessee, the boy’s favorite team, according to Claudia Harmata of human interest and celebrity news website People. The fourth-grader did not own any merchandise. Hence, he decided to decorate his own shirt in time for the event. Instructor at Altamonte Elementary School in Altamonte Springs Laura Snyder wrote on Facebook that the boy drew the university’s logo on paper and pinned it on an orange t-shirt.
The boy found the shirt at home and the idea was suggested by Snyder, who said that he could “wear an orange t-shirt to show his spirit.” During the “College Colors Day,” the little boy was ecstatic to wear his shirt. Snyder was impressed that the boy “took one step further” to create his own logo. After lunch, the fourth grader’s shirt became the laughing stock of a group of girls, returning to the classroom in tears.
He felt devastated, Snyder recounted. She acknowledged that children can be cruel, but he used “the resources he had available to him” for the event. To cheer up her student, Snyder intended to purchase an official University of Tennessee shirt and asked her Facebook friends “if they had any connections to make the gift ‘extra special.’” To her surprise, her post went viral and even gained the attention of the university itself. In a press conference, the university said it would send a “care package of spirit gear” to the young fan.
As stated by Kylie Hubbard of campus publication The Daily Beacon, Associate Athletics Director for Fan Experience & Sales Jimmy Delaney lauded the boy’s creativity, revealing that his design circulated all over the campus. The university created a t-shirt using the boy’s design. It announced on Twitter that the proceeds from the shirts will be donated to an anti-bullying foundation.
The fourth grader’s reaction was heartwarming, Snyder shared her student’s reaction with the spirit gear. The little boy was amazed by the contents inside the box. He put on the jersey “and one of the many hats in the box.” The young student inspired and touched the lives of many individuals, Snyder noted.
The boy’s jaw when he found out that his design “was being made into a real shirt.” Snyder saw her student flash a huge smile as he gained immense confidence from what he did. Funnily enough, the university’s online shop crashed because there was a huge demand for the shirt.