friendship

5th Grader Uses Google Translate to Become Friends with New Kid at School

School girl holding food tray in school cafeteria

Being the new kid at school sucks. There’s no better way to put it–it just does. Everyone else is already tight with their friend group–and then, there’s you, sitting alone at lunch. I can remember this only too well myself, as I switched schools in 7th grade (due to excessive bullying at my former school). While I ended up making friends eventually, it was pretty rough, especially since I was a shy kid–and I was used to kids at school being pretty mean.

That’s why it’s so great hearing about kids like Amanda Moore, who went out of her way to make sure a new 5th grade student, Rafael Anaya, felt at home in his new school. During lunch, Amanda sat with him, but sadly wasn’t able to speak with him much, as Rafael only speaks Spanish. But Amanda didn’t stop there.

So, what did she do? She went to good ol’ Google Translate. She wrote a note asking Rafael if he wanted to sit with her at lunch, and plugged it into the app to tell her how to draft the letter in Spanish so he could read it. Afterwards, Amanda’s mom proofread it. The letter reads:

“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.”

Her mom, Kimber Kinard, told CBS News how amazed she is that her daughter did this:

“Literally I’ve been crying ever since then because I thought it was the sweetest thing in the world.

I always said, ‘Find the new kid.’ Always. Find the new kid. They may not stay your friend, but they won’t forget that you made them welcome in that school.”

Amanda told ABC7 why she did this:

“I just wanted to tell him it’s OK if he could sit over by us. Even though we can’t really speak Spanish together, I don’t really know Spanish, but we could still hang out.”

Like magic, the note worked. As of now, the pair have become friends–and even live near each other. Amanda put it the best: “I just think he shouldn’t be alone. Everybody should have a buddy.”

Right on.


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Joanna Valente

Joanna Valente is the Editorial Assistant at Kveller. She is the author of Sirs & Madams The Gods Are Dead, and Marys of the Sea (forthcoming), and received her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. You can follow her @joannasaid on Twitter, @joannacvalente on Instagram, or email her at joanna@kveller.com.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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