Sorana Edouard wrapped her arms around her father’s legs as he read to the girl’s kindergarten class at Morningside K-8 Academy about a father’s love.
“Why do you love your daddy?” Luckner Edouard asked as he patted his own girl’s back.
The little hands went up.
“Because he takes me everywhere,” said Ayame Williams, 6.
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“Because he never makes me cry,” said Sarakisha Devallon, 6.
“Because he is the best daddy in the world,” said Maighan Pinchinat, 6.
Edouard, who also has a 9-year-old son, Kesney, said he is always impressed by the answers children come up with.
“Kids know a lot,” said Edouard, who often volunteers at his children’s school. He said he loves to see how happy his daughter is when he is there. “It’s very special.”
For Edouard, being involved in his children’s lives has become his daily mission. A little more than two years ago, his wife, Dieuvela Soilne, died, and he has had to learn how to be both mother and father to his two children. He takes them to school in the morning, picks them up after school and makes sure their homework is done. In between working as an electrician and keeping the house up, Edouard said, he tries to read to them as often as possible.
“I brought them into this world,” he said. “It’s my responsibility.”
Originally from Haiti, Edouard moved to Miami in 1994. He went to Miami Dade College to study English and then went to Broward College to become an electrician.
He said his father’s tough love taught him the importance of passing on his knowledge to his children. He remembers a time when his dad didn’t talk to him for three months because his father thought he was going down the wrong path.
“It was a big punishment,” he said. “He showed me something I could see. I realized that. I thank him for showing me what to do.”
A teacher in Haiti, Edouard easily fit into the classroom.
The children sat on a colorful mat listening to Edouard’s every word. Edouard held up the book I Love Daddy by Lizi Boyd and showed off the colorful pictures of father and child flying a kite and doing household chores together.
Morningside lead teacher Sonya Ballard said it is “equally important for dads to be involved.”
“Dads are not the assistant,” she said.
While Edouard is a great father to his own two children, he has also stepped up to help other children.
“There are a lot of children who don’t have male role models in their lives,” she said.
Holly Zwerling, president of the Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida, said Edouard’s interest is “remarkable.”
“Look at what he’s been through,” she said. “He’s not only helping his own children, but he is helping other children.”
Kesney said he loves that his dad comes to school.
“He is very special to me,” Kesney said. “ He makes me feel safe.”