Teacher's aide back on the job on Lower East Side thanks to generous community

LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Inside the Earth School on Manhattan's Lower East Side Friday, we witnessed something more than the average gym class.

We saw living proof of what happens when a community comes together.

Frankie Gonzalez, a Queens native and former professional soccer player in Mexico, had been a physical education teacher's aide here for three years.

But budget problems forced the school to cut his job just a few weeks ago.

Phys Ed teacher Vincent Grady - a former soccer player himself - sprang into action.

He launched a gofundme page to help raise the $14,000 annual stipend needed to keep Frankie on the job.

Boosted by assistance from a private donor, the money poured in - from workers and residents in the neighborhood to Earth School students themselves emptying their piggy banks.

30-year-old Frankie is now back with the students who adore him.

He's also making money as a freestyle soccer performer, a tutor and a youth league coach.

Frankie and Vinny clearly believe that movement is good for the body.

They also know that generosity is good for the soul.

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