JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - He spent 30 years as a biology and mathematics teacher in Missouri. Now retired, Darryl Roberts doesn't have a classroom, but he still teaches students that are just a bit older than the ones before.
Nearly every weekday morning he rounds them up and heads down the hall for a devotional time.
Seniors in wheelchairs sit around tables in the sunroom of the Craighead County Nursing Center. They listen to stories from "The Good Old Days" magazine and hear of the day's news from a man who started coming to the center to see his mother.
"My mother was a real neat lady," Roberts said. "If anything, I'd like to honor her. She always made sure that I had plenty to eat, clothes to wear. She took care of me first."
His mother passed away seven years ago at the age of 94, but Roberts continues to come and visit with the seniors.
"I just consider it an honor to come and read to these people," Roberts said. "We have the best time."
"To come to the nursing home and help these people and make them laugh and entertain them is wonderful," said Bettye Gibson, a retired teacher who nominated Roberts for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.
Roberts also teaches a Sunday School class.
"You just name it, and he does it," Gibson said.
"These people are like my family," Roberts said. "The Lord brought my mother out here, and so I saw the need and I came and started reading to these people. I've been reading ever since."
"When he taught school, he loved his students," Judy Roberts, Darryl's wife, said. "So it's not really the older people, he just loves people. I think he gets more out of it than the patients here. He loves it!"
Roberts was selected by a committee to receive $408 as part of the Gr8 Acts of Kindness campaign.
As the June winner, Roberts said he already has plans for the money.
"May I pass it one to someone?" he asked. "I know a place where it can go. There's a woman I know who needs help. I'm going to pass it along to her."
Allen Williams, Community President at First Community Bank, presented Roberts with a check replica of the cash he received.
Roberts decided to make another donation to Heifer International with $200, also given from a private donor.
"I don't want any recognition," Roberts said. "I just consider it an honor to come and read to these people."
"He's very humble," Barbara Brinkley said.
Brinkley was one of two people who nominated him for the award.
"He makes it a daily gift to the people around him," she said.
"I wish more people would come [to the nursing center]," Roberts said. "So many, many people will not come because they think it's a depressing place, but it's not depressing to me."
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