Louisiana's teacher of the year writes letters to all her students, now they return the favor

Students bring Louisiana teacher to tears

Our series, A More Perfect Union, aims to show that what unites us as Americans is far greater than what divides us. In this installment, we introduce you to Louisiana's teacher of the year, Kimberly Eckert. She teaches English at Brusly High School, near Baton Rouge. Over the course of her decade-long career, she started a unique tradition of writing personal letters to her students to ease some of their anxieties and to let them know how much they mean to her. 

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Kimberly Eckert CBS News

Here's what Eckert said about why she writes those letters: 

"I think if there's anything that I've learned, words have a lot of power. And the way we use them and how we use them and the timing in using them is sometimes all the power that we need. It's all the power we need," Eckert said. "And I think that, with my particular students and in their generation, the frequency that they see words they can kind of forget the power of just the letter. They could forget the power of feedback written on a paper."

This year alone she wrote more than 150 letters. 

Watch the above video to hear from some of Eckert's past and present students who wanted to return the favor.  

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A few of Kimberly Eckert's students read the letters they wrote about the impact she had on their life. CBS News