LETHBRIDGE - "I kind of thought, well, it's the end of the school year. We might not hear from him. But then, we got a message."
Ecole Agnes Davidson Grade 4/5 teacher Ana Rebolone Morrison and her students had been hoping to hear from rock star Jon Bon Jovi for the last few months, after beginning a letter writing, video, picture and social media campaign. The children put together several packages containing information about them, and sent them to different venues where he and his band were playing- hoping he would notice their efforts and come to Lethbridge to visit.
Rebolone Morrison says their persistance and dedication paid off.
"The power of numbers. We talked about how one kid can make a difference, but all together their voice is very strong... and I'm so proud of them because they worked so hard for it, and it's well deserved."
As the familiar Skype ringtone began playing exactly at 1 pm (June 14), cries of excitement came from the entire class as the 55- year Bon Jovi walked over to his screen and sat down.
He told the children how happy he was to speak with them, and then took the time to read out each child's name and to ask them questions, something their teacher says was amazing.
"We talked this morning about whether he had received their letters. And just to see him actually have them in his hands, and talking about each one?? Like, for me? Outta this world."
She says the class has actually been tracking Bon Jovi on his concert tours, learning about his philanthropic efforts and even singing some of his songs. Rebolone Morrison even has a cardboard cut out of him, which she refers to as her "helper."
"The fact that he took time out of his schedule to Skype with us, is the same as if he had walked in through the doors. Pretty awesome."
And she was more than a little star-struck, having been a Bon Jovi fan since she was a teenager.
"I lost my mind. Oh yeah, that was pretty amazing. He was calling my classroom! My Skype account! Maybe he'll call again?"
Each student was able to ask Bon Jovi a question. Some asked about his favourite food (PB &J, he's been eating a lot of that lately), when he began singing (age 13), who his favourite celebrity is (Tom Brady), and whether he likes Batman, Star Wars or Lego (Batman). The children even sang a few lines of "Livin' on a Prayer" with him, and were also told that some presents were on the way for them.
The Skype visit ended with Bon Jovi thanking the children for their letters and pictures and encouraging them to keep doing it, and hoping to cross paths with them in the future.
Rebolone Morrison says it's something neither she nor the children will ever forget.
"He made our dreams came true."
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