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COVID-19: Ellen Surprises Teacher From Hudson Valley

Ellen surprised kindergarten teacher Melissa Stewart, who has been going above and beyond for her students during this difficult time.
Ellen surprised kindergarten teacher Melissa Stewart, who has been going above and beyond for her students during this difficult time. Video Credit: TheEllenShow

An area kindergarten teacher who goes way beyond the norm to make sure her students are safe and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has been rewarded for her efforts by "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Orange County kindergarten teacher Melissa Stewart, who works at the Cornwall-on-Hudson Elementary School, was visiting the show on Wednesday, Nov. 18, with a group of other teachers, was surprised with messages from her students along with more than $35,000 in electronics and money from DeGeneres.

Stewart who visits each of her students' homes, reading them books -- of course while social distancing -- blowing bubbles and just having fun, had no idea her good deeds would be rewarded by the TV host.

In addition, she delivered tool kits, at her own expense, to each student to help them keep up with their school work.

Stewart told DeGeneres that only 30 of her school's 500 students are equipped with the necessary electronics needed to keep up with the remote learning.

“You get emails from parents about how the stress and anxiety is so hard for a lot of these kids, and it broke my heart," Stewart told DeGeneres. "I have two kids of my own, and I would never want them to feel that way like someone just left them."

She also told her students she loves them and doesn't want them to think they are forgotten.

In return for her goodness and dedication to her students, the show, along with Shutterfly donated $20,000 in electronics and another $15,000 to help pay off Stewart's student loans.

As of one, her students told DeGeneres: "OMG, you're the best teacher's ever," Stewart says she was overwhelmed with the attention, but very happy for all the students at the school who will now have access to computers.

"I'm just overwhelmed," she added in tears. 

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