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SMILE CLUB: Students Help Others Make Friends

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Most kids enjoy playing outside with their friends for recess and being in after school activities. Students at Paul Norton Elementary School in Bettendorf started a club to make sure no one gets left behind.

Students took a break from a normal day of class to enjoy lunch, but what happens once these students go out for recess is not so typical.

“My cousin Joe, he’s a special needs boy and once my aunt came to drop off something at school and he was all alone in the corner,” that’s the reason why third grader Anastasia Drexler came up with an idea to start a club. “Well that’s shouldn’t happen at our school, I’m going to try to fix that,” she explained.

And just like that the smile group was formed. A group of 16 kids meet at the smile tower and lookout for any kids sitting alone. If they spot someone they ask them if they want to play.

“If they say yes that’s okay, if they say no that’s okay too,” Anastasia said.

It helps kids makes friends, like first grader Lauren Ballard, “The reason why I joined the Smile Group is because nobody really wanted to play with me.

Even though it’s something the kids came up with on their own, the principal says all the teachers support it, and the kids say everyone is welcome to join.

Thanks to our sister station WQAD for this story,