Teacher hopes to send 2nd grader with autism to Thomas Land

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Ani Baker, a teacher at Bradoaks Elementary School in Monrovia, is raising money to send 8-year-old Kingston Jones and his family to Thomas Land.

An elementary school teacher in Monrovia, California hopes to surprise one of her students with special needs who loves trains.

Kingston Jones, 8, has a love for Thomas the Tank Engine, and even draws the train daily.

The 2nd grader who has autism doesn't know it yet, but his teacher Ani Baker is working to send him and his family to Thomas Land near Boston this summer.

"I love to help kids believe that they can do the things that they want to do, especially if it's something beautiful like this," Baker said.

Baker has about a dozen special needs students in her classroom at Bradoaks Elementary School in Monrovia, including Kingston.

Baker said her students are special because they all have heart and she wants to help make their dreams come true.

So when Kingston expressed a passion to go to Thomas Land, Baker went to work to fulfill the boy's wish.

"He wanted to go, he thought it was a local theme park. He didn't know it was in Boston. That shouldn't be a barrier for him. I want him to be able to go and do this incredible thing," Baker said.

Baker got the school involved and recently started a GoFundMe to send Kingston, his mother and younger brother to Boston.

The fundraising campaign's goal was to raise $3,500, but Baker has raised nearly $7,000!

Mia Brown, a single mother working multiple jobs, said she could never afford to take her son Kingston on such a trip.

Brown said she wept when she learned what Baker was doing for her son.

"I can't believe somebody cares about my son as much as I do and she's so genuine," Brown said. "It overwhelmed me, it was amazing."
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societytrainsspecial needs childrenschoolteacherdonationsu.s. & worldMonroviaLos Angeles County