BOISE, Idaho — If you're up early in the mornings, you've likely heard Michelle Heart's voice on Lite FM radio. But, Idahoans aren't the only ones tuning in.
Students from Barbacena, Brazil are using her show to learn English.
“Their teacher, every morning as soon as the show starts, I get an email and it always goes something like, 'Good morning, we are with you from Brazil. Have a great show!' and I am like, 'Aww, that is so sweet,” Heart said.
Heart was wrapping up her show earlier this month and checked the station's app.
"We got a message kind of late in the evening. I'm like, 'Where is this coming from?'" Heart said. "I opened it up and it was a junior high school English teacher in Brazil telling me he uses our station to help his kids learn English.”
But how does an English class over 6,000 miles away in a different country find a radio station in Boise, Idaho?
"It was a little bit of an accident. I think he was looking for Lite-FM in New York City and somehow stumbled across Lite-FM in Boise, Idaho instead," Heart said. "But it has been cool to make that connection even if it was on accident.”
After chatting with the teacher, she gave the whole class a shout-out on air.
"After I did that, I got messages from all the kids through the app. I woke up and saw we had 14 app downloads, which is unheard of that early in the morning, and it was all the kids downloading the app to practice their English," Heart said. "Their assignment was to message me and say thank you for the shout-out and something about their name and the radio station and just to practice their English by messaging me."
She has since been chatting with the students every morning through the app.
Whether it was by accident or not, Michelle is grateful she can make a positive impact with students in a different country.
"The teacher really let me know that where they are at in Brazil and the COVID situation right now that all their kids are still doing school online and he said they have been really apathetic," Heart said. "They have had a hard time getting these kids to turn on their cameras or open up their microphones and participate in class so this has been a cool way to get them excited about doing something in school right now."
Heart also sent a video to the class, giving them a tour of the studio and offering words of encouragement.
"It is just so cool to know that I have made just a little bit of difference in these kids wanting to be involved in their classes again."