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'It takes a village' | Corsicana custodian is part of the family

Charlece Dawson was photographed recently sitting on the hallway floor helping a student with homework.

CORSICANA, Texas — At Collins Intermediate School in Corsicana, the students really shine, thanks to the custodian.

Lead custodian Charlece Dawson told WFAA kids are always pitching in, polishing tables and picking up trash. Odds are it’s not because they like cleaning, but because they love her.

“She’s funny, she’s nice,” said sixth grader Tevin McKeaver.

“I think really they trying to get out of class, but I don’t know,” said Dawson.

Dawson's happy to have the help, but her greatest contribution isn’t her cleaning. It’s her kindness.

Soon after Dawson started at Collins two years ago, she began helping students. Students like Cory Portis. Portis is a special needs student, and he loves when people scare him. Every day, Dawson obliges.

She’s formed such a deep bond with the kids. They call her "aunty" because they say she’s like family. 

“I’m always believing that it takes a village to raise our kids,” Dawson said. “So I’m one of those ones that anything I can do to help, I’m going to help.”

Dawson’s never sought recognition, but got some after the school posted a picture on Facebook. The picture showed her sitting on the hallway floor next to fifth grader Naziya Costello. 

Costello was having a hard time navigating the dictionary, so Dawson stopped to help. Just like she did again, when Costello felt nervous and overwhelmed in front of our camera.

Dawson sat and hugged Costello and gave her the confidence to finish the interview.

Oftentimes, we make the mistake of believing we’re limited by our title, but Dawson shows that whatever you may be, you can always be kind.

“This isn’t about me coming in and cleaning up every day, but it’s about me reaching somebody else,” Dawson said. “I’m teaching them it’s your job to help. Help when you see a need.”

Because that is a perfect time to shine.

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