A beloved Florida teacher receives colorful gift from kids
SEMINOLE, Fla. (AP) — A high school history teacher in Florida received the gift of color from his students this holiday season.
The students in his Advanced Placement U.S. History course last year, all seniors, wondered why all the markers beneath the teacher's dry erase board are labeled by color.
Brian Yarbrough, a 38-year-old father and teacher in Pinellas County on the state's Gulf Coast, was born color blind.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that this Christmas, Yarbrough's students pooled their money and bought him a $350 gift: glasses from EnChroma, a brand that promises to "unlock a new world of color for people with colorblindness."
Now Yarbrough can better see his son's bright blue eyes, an American flag hanging on his classroom wall and the bright red house next to his.
"Everything pops," Yarbrough said. "It's been wonderful."
Yarbrough and his wife had thought about purchasing the glasses many times before but held off because of the cost and family expenses. The couple has two small children.
To the students, though, splitting the cost was a small price to pay for a teacher like him.
For Ryan Addy, 18, Yarbrough's character came through strongest on Feb. 15, the day after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County that shook students and communities around the state.
Usually, the teacher came into class with a plan, ready to get to work. But not that day.
"'We need to sit and talk and comfort each other in this time of hurt,'" Addy remembers Yarbrough saying. "AP classes are always rushed, but he took the time to think and feel with us."
He plans to wear the glasses to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, and to watch the sunset with his wife on the Gulf of Mexico.
"The most amazing part about all of this is the students," said Yarbrough. "I feel very grateful."
Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.