Students learn sign language for beloved janitor

Kindergartners at a Tennessee elementary school learned to sign "Happy Birthday" as a surprise for their school's custodian.
1:57 | 10/26/18

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Transcript for Students learn sign language for beloved janitor
to put in your morning. The story behind this kindergarten surprise for a school custodian in Tennessee. Adrienne Bankert is here with more. What a great story, Adrienne. Reporter: We love this and telling this story as many times as we can. Anthony James has a beautiful connection with the kids at Hickerson elementary and gives them high-fives and helps tie their shoes but the kids were jumping up and down in excitement to learn a new way to show their love to one of their favorite people. ??? Happy birthday ??? Reporter: "Happy birthday" took on a whole new meaning. Custodian James Anthony in tears. ??? Happy birthday ??? Reporter: As the 60-year-old came to take out the trash, the kindergartners surprised their school janitor by not just singing but signing happy birthday. Anthony is deaf and the children wanted to do something unique for his special day. It browse us all to tears. Reporter: The teachers taught the kindergarten class how to sign "Happy birth day" by watching YouTube videos. So excited because they realize we get to communicate with Mr. Mes now. They learned it in less than five minutes. Reporter: Despite a number of health challenges he has worked for the school district for 30 years. I think he's an amazing role model for our kids. For that reason that there's no reason to give up on anything. You know, Mr. James doesn't give up and he does want to say one last thing. To the both of you, you two have made my day. We love you. Very, very sweet. Mr. Anthony said after he retires he wants to go back to school and teach children American sign language. He's not done yet. The teachers are ecstatic the kids are introduced to this world of sign language. And excited about. They're good at it too. Five minutes? I was like, faster than me. Everything on YouTube these

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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