Starting at a new school is difficult at the best of times, but not knowing much English meant making friends was a struggle for Mexican student Rafael Anaya. That is until a kind classmate noticed he was sitting alone and reached out.
After trying to speak to Rafael at lunch and not getting very far, 10-year-old California student Amanda Moore went home and used Google Translate to write him a letter in his native Spanish. She gave it to her mother to proofread and in a sweet video shared on Facebook, she is seen reading it out on her way to school the next morning.
“Would you like to sit with me today? Look for me and I will show you where I sit. We can color or simply tell scary stories. Thank you for your time, signed Amanda”, the letter reads in English.
Amanda handed Rafael her note before class and he replied with a hug after reading it.
“I didn’t understand anyone, I didn’t know anyone,” Rafael told the Washington Post in Spanish. He said he had not been wanting to go to school and now hopes that other migrant children will meet someone like Amanda, “so that when they get here [to America], they can feel happy.”
The primary school kids have been friends ever since, with Amanda vowing to learn Spanish and using an app on her phone to learn new words.
She also soon discovered that Rafael lives at the other end of her street and they met up to go trick or treating together for Rafael’s first Halloween in America last week.
Amanda’s story has circled the globe and attracted thousands of positive responses on social media. Her mother, who was brought to tears when Amanda came home with her idea, wrote on Facebook, “I can't believe her little act of kindness has reached so many people on so many levels."
"The outpouring of love and admiration and support of her gesture has reached epic proportions and I've tried hard to respond to each and every comment, email, message and continent.”