NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Just a month into the new school year, Jefferson Elementary School fourth-grader Zahira Sencion is showing how a small bit of help can make a big difference to others.
Sencion has been helping classmate Damien Colon with his organizational skills to keep Colon focused on his school work as an "organization buddy."
"Zahira checks to make sure Damien has his books with him, that his class work and homework are written down," said teacher Laura Goldstein. "She took on this role herself. She'll help him open up his materials to make sure he's on the right page and has the correct date, and she makes sure he has everything he needs to pack up and bring home."
Sencion and Colon were acquaintances in third grade. But when this year began, Sencion decided to reach out.
"I help him take out his stuff so he doesn't forget it," she said. And now the two have a full-fledged friendship.
"We sometimes sit together at lunch and sometimes we share our snacks together," she said.
Colon is grateful for the help and said he would like to "thank her. A lot."
"I like it," he said. "It's helping me so I don't get yellow slips."
"They are now two friends who probably wouldn't have necessarily hung out together," Goldstein said. "Now, they've bonded over her helping him. He looks for her to check in."
And she's noticed that Sencion's selflessness has created a ripple effect in the classroom, with others adopting the same behavior.
"It's very sweet," Goldstein said. "This has shown them how they can all help one another. They see one student helping another, and now my other students are starting to do the same thing on their own."