A Florida nursery school teacher took his virtual classroom to new levels when veteran rock star Jon Bon Jovi popped in on a writing lesson about life in the coronavirus quarantine.
Last month, the Grammy award-winning 80s rocker released an incomplete version of Do What You Can, a ballad about the nation’s battle to contain the virus, and asked fans to submit verses to help complete it, the Palm Beach Post reported.
Michael Bonick, a teacher at Marsh Pointe Elementary School in Palm Beach Gardens – and a lifelong Bon Jovi fan – saw the singer’s invitation and found contact information online for a member of his staff. He sent along his students’ writings about being stuck at home in quarantine.
An employee replied that Bon Jovi wanted to meet the youngsters and he popped on to their laptop screens at 10am on Monday.
WAIT FOR IT! Hall of Fame Musician @BonJovi surprised a local kindergarten Google Meet this morning to congratulate the kids on all their hard work from home.— WPTV (@WPTV) April 14, 2020
Thanks Michael Bonick from Marsh Pointe Elementary in PBG for sharing this incredible video! Tonight at 11pm watch WPTV. pic.twitter.com/R9Xgb8fr7u
“Mr B got you guys writing and I was very excited to hear that,” the former Bon Jovi frontman told the children, “because if you get to put your feelings down on paper, sometimes they’ll turn into songs, sometimes they’ll turn into stories, and you never know where it might lead you.”
The singer has received thousands of proposed lyrics online, some of which he works into performances of the song that he broadcasts online from his home in New Jersey.
As the 20 youngsters — and their parents — watched, Bon Jovi strummed an acoustic guitar and sang out three of their suggestions about life in quarantine, touching on themes of idleness and isolation.
After singing eight lines ending with “My parents try their best/But I can tell that they’re stressed”, he congratulated the author, a boy named AJ.
“You’re a rock and roll star,” he said. “We wrote this one together, me and you buddy.”
Mr Bonick set the homework assignment last week and encouraged the children to write about where they are and who they are with. He said the recurring theme was being stuck at home, which is fine because he wants the young writers to document their lives in such an extraordinary time.
“Once we get out of this – because we will get out of this – it’s history,” he said.
A lifelong Bon Jovi fan, he had seen the singer’s invitation to fans to propose their own lyrics for Do What You Can.
“They were blown away,” he said. “They loved every minute of it.”