BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. - For students during the school day, hearing the lunch bells means a break from class and time to relax. One Bartow County elementary school student uses that time to help others.
When it's time for lunch at Taylorsville Elementary School, you won't find Gabriel Saavedra sitting and eating with his friends.
"I sweep, and I get up the marks, but mostly I would have to mop because people are spilling their food and stuff on the floor, spilling their milk," the 11-year-old said.
Saavedra started using his lunch period to help the school custodians clean the lunchroom because he saw how hard they were working.
Vice Principal Kevin Muldoon saw the acts of kindness.
"Gabriel is a very energetic, popular, social kid. And I asked him why he was cleaning as opposed to being with his friends," Muldoon said.
Gabriel's answer to the vice principal was pretty straightforward.
"Well I thought one day, you know, I might help the custodians, because I like helping people," he told Good Day Atlanta's Lindsay Tuman.
His mom, Michelle, says she wasn't surprised when the school told her what her fifth-grade son was up to.
"Because he was raised to give of himself and show love to others," she said. Michelle says her son is constantly looking at ways to help others. "Like a neighbor, he'll see her taking in her groceries, and he'll just run over to help."
Every morning before school when students are getting school breakfast, and again during lunch, Gabriel shows his way of helping in the cafeteria.
"No matter what I'm still going to clean the lunchroom," he said.
It's an act that surprise and impress school leaders.
"I've been in education nearly 20 years and most of that time has been spent in middle school, and Gabe is about there, fifth grade, sixth grade. And I don't think I've ever seen a child give up social time to help others," the vice principal said.
Gabriel says helping others makes him feel good, and he hopes his acts of kindness, inspire others to help too.
"Be nice to each other and think (of) other people. That's all I really have to say," he said.