Family Fun
Teacher kindly offers to bring students to daddy-daughter dance after they lose their father
During a very heartbreaking time, he helped the two sisters have a joyful evening they'll always remember.
Irene Markianou

When Steve Culbert was still a school child, his brother passed away from cancer. Steve felt heartbroken and alone during that hard time, and that was when he decided that he’d never let anyone feel as lonely as he did during a hard time.

Later on in life, when his children were born, he decided to go on and take up teaching, so he soon became a second-grade teacher.

That’s when he met little Avery and her sister Alivia Reece. He was their teacher, but he soon became a family friend for them and their parents.

Unsplash - Kenny Eliason
Unsplash - Kenny Eliason

“I tell all of my students right from the get go, right from day-one when you start building a relationship with them, that they’re like family,” Culbert told CBS News at the time. “I get to know my students, I get to know their families.”

Sadly, the girls’ father suffered from an illness that caused blood clots and, at some point, he was rushed to the hospital after a blood clot caused cardiac arrest.

YouTube - Good Morning America
YouTube - Good Morning America

That’s when Culbert became even closer to the family, realizing that he might be able to help the couple and their girls in some way.

“I asked Shelley [his wife] if I could visit him in the hospital. It was just really unsettling seeing him laying there,” he said.

YouTube - Good Morning America
YouTube - Good Morning America

Returning home that night, he asked his daughters if it would be okay for them to bring the Reece girls with them to the upcoming father-daughter dance.

The girls agreed, and they happily handed out invitations to Avery and Alivia. Unfortunately, Luke Reece passed away that same night and he left his family heartbroken.

Culbert knew he couldn’t fail the late dad, and he was determined to make the girls happy.

Two weeks after Luke’s passing, it was time for the father-daughter dance. Steve and his family, along with some other parents that were generous and kind enough to help, arranged a special day for the Reece girls.

“The morning started out with him taking them to breakfast with his sweet family, off to the park to play, then to Stonegate where he got their hair and nails done, of course hit their favorite-McDonalds,” Shelley Reece shared on Facebook at the time.

The girls then headed to their aunt’s wedding and, returning home, a limo was waiting for them to take them and the Culbert girls to the dance.

The four girls and Steve had a great night together, filled with love and happiness, and knowing that they’ll always have each other. They even released balloons in honor of the girls’ late father that said: “#BeLikeLuke.”

Culbert told CBS News:

“I wanted to let them know their dad is here with them today. And I’m not trying to be their dad, I’m just trying to be here with them.”

That night, Culbert also raised $500 thanks to community members who donated money for the Reece family which he gave to Shelley in order to help with expenses they might have at that time.

The mother could not be more grateful to the amazing teacher and his loving family.

“I can’t thank you enough Mr. Culbert and everyone else that made this day happen. Thank you to his little girls for sharing your daddy,” she wrote.

What a beautiful story of generosity and kindness! Watch the video below to see more about it.

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