After Their Dad Died, A Former Teacher Made Sure They Didn’t Miss A Father-Daughter Dance

"Take care of each other, and love each other."

Teacher Steve Culbert says that his students are like his family. In fact, he explained to Babble that he tells his fourth-grade class from Day 1 that "we trust each other, take care of each other, and love each other."


He proved those words very true recently when the kind teacher from Lapeer, Michigan, helped out two former students. Seven-year-old Avery and her sister, 8-year-old Alivia Reece, have been grieving the loss of the dad, Luke Reece, who passed away at the age of 32 because of a blood disorder.

Culbert had gotten to know the girls and their family through school and parent-teacher conferences. Prior to their father's passing, Culbert had paid a visit to the hospital and brought the girls a care package. 

When he saw the dire condition of the girls' father, he tried to think of ways he could help.

So, he would occasionally visit the girls during their difficult time, hoping to provide support and comfort. When the school's father-daughter dance was coming up, inspiration struck and he asked his two daughters — who are the same age as the Reece girls — if they would mind if Alivia and Avery attended with them.

They agreed and the father-daughter dance day was a full-day affair with the girls being treated to breakfast, glam sessions, and a limo ride.

Before entering the dance, Fox News reports that Culbert gave the sisters red balloons to release in their dad's honor with "#belikeluke" written on them.

The four girls and teacher had a brilliant time at the dance with the night ending with a trip to McDonald's. 

Their touching story is now going viral after images were shared online. Culbert is surprised and hopes that it will help the girls and shed light on organ donation.

Reece was an organ donor and his donation has helped 65 people.

Cover image: Holly Vegter /


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.