NORWOOD, Ohio - The fourth graders at Sharpsburg Elementary in Norwood have discovered some of the best lessons aren’t learned in the classroom.
The students had been saving up money for a field trip to a Cincinnati Cyclones hockey game.
"I helped my mom with the dishes, helped her cook the food," I mopped the floor," 9-year-old Dahlia Khalio said.
"I really wanted to see the Cyclones and hang out with my friends and watch the game," classmate Isaiah Chinchilla said.
In a heartbeat, that childhood anticipation was crushed when someone broke into the school and made off with the money.
"That stunk, because that was my allowance," Chinchilla said. "Man, that was mean."
Enter Norwood patrolman Matt Evans, who responded to the call.
"We were just running through every lead we could think of," Evans said.
Even though he had taken hundreds of theft reports in his career, this one was different.
"I think anyone can relate," Evans said. "When we were in school, field trips, that was just the coolest thing in the world."
So, Officer Evans got busy.
"I had that nagging feeling in my stomach," he said. "I have to do something. So I stopped by the ATM."
He took out enough of his own money to cover what had been taken, and had it delivered anonymously to the school.
That act caught the saddened children off guard.
"He was very thoughtful to do that for us," Dahlia said.
Even more valuable than the money, Evans' actions set an example for over 70 children who got to see what it means to help to those in need.
Nine-year-old William Jones says he wants to be that example if he finds someone else in trouble.
"I would help them," Jones said. "I would do the best I can."
Sometimes life really is the best teacher.
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