Bus driver comforts scared boy on his first day of kindergarten in heartwarming photo
Amy Johnson

The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

"He started to cling to me and I told him, 'Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun!'" Johnson told Fox 7.


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But despite the encouraging words from his mom, Axel was still scared, tears streaming down his red face.

"She had set him down in the seat and he kept trying to grab for her as she was trying to get off the bus," Lane said. So she reached back and grabbed ahold of his hand to comfort him.

"I didn't think it was that big of a deal personally…I guess it's just something that I would do," Lane said.

That's when Johnson snapped a photo of the heartwarming moment. She'd planned on getting a picture of her son happily heading off to his first day of school, but what she got instead might be even better.

The photo she captured, with Lane holding Axel's hand, is a wonderful example of how a small gesture of kindness can make a big impact.

"I think it kind of goes for anyone, if you see someone maybe struggling just to do something as simple as reaching out a hand and showing that you are there," Lane said. "You don't have to say anything but just to show someone you are there makes a big difference in someone's day."

Clearly it worked, because the next day, Axel wasn't so scared anymore.

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"The day after that he was waiting at the bus stop all by himself, he got on all smiles and talking to me the whole time so he is doing much better now," Lane said.

Lane's actions caught the attention of the community, as well, with the local police department sharing the photo on its Facebook page.

"This is one of our wonderful bus drivers, Miss Lane, holding the hand of a scared little one on his first day of school! The compassion we see every day in our teachers, bus drivers, custodians, administration, food service staff, and paraprofessionals is truly admirable.

We are so fortunate to be able to partner with these people!" the police department wrote.

"I love that people in my community are kindhearted and Izzy is definitely that," Johnson said of her son's bus driver.

The 40-day fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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