A Pennsylvania high school teacher who is colorblind said he is “humbled and stunned” after his students raised more than $500 to buy him specialty eyeglasses.
Matt Alzamora, a history teacher at Methacton High School in Eagleville, Pennsylvania, was surprised Monday with a pair of Enchroma glasses. The eyewear “alleviates red-green colorblindness, enhancing colors without the compromise of color accuracy,” according to the company’s website.
“It was like, all of a sudden, life just got a lot more vivid,” Alzamora told ABC News of using the glasses. “I can almost think it’d be like if you had an old TV from the ’80s and you stepped up into high definition.”
Alzamora, 45, has taught history at Methacton High School for nearly 20 years. When students in his seventh-period history class heard Alzamora say he wanted to see the colors of a sunset as described to him by his daughter, they decided to take action.
“We got representatives from each class,” said Maci Chambers, one of the three students who led the fundraising effort. “And we all posted on social media so people knew how they could turn in money.”
In short order, the students raised $528, just enough to buy the glasses for Alzamora, a father of two.
When asked to describe their fundraising success, Andrew Bregman, another student leader, said, “It says the education at this school is really good and the students want to repay the teachers who do so much for them.”
Alzamora’s wife, Patty Alzamora, and son, Ryan, were on hand Monday when the students walked into a staff meeting with a banner and balloons and surprised their teacher.
The family had seen the glasses advertised but hadn’t thought of purchasing them for him, Patty Alzamora told ABC News.
“In the last couple of months, we’d heard about them and thought, ‘Oh, wow, wouldn’t that be neat for [him] to try them on?’” she said. “We thought maybe one day we’d look into it, maybe for his 50th birthday or something.”
Matt Alzamora will be able to use the glasses this summer when he and another teacher take a group of 60 students on a tour of France.
He’ll also be able to play board games with his children without asking for help and will not have to take the ribbing of his students when he misidentifies something on a map or the color of a building.
“It’s just an unbelievable, nice gesture,” Alzamora said. “It was incredible this morning just seeing the sun come through the clouds.”
The students said they were just as touched by Alzamora’s emotional response.
“It brought joy to my heart, and I know it brought joy to many others,” said Nicole Dorn, who helped organize the surprise.