Ramón ran, skipped, and jogged on the way to school. All at once he slowed to a walk.

Today was Monday. New helpers would be chosen in his class at school.

Ramón wanted very much to be a classroom helper. Every changeover day he smiled hopefully at his teacher, Mrs. Martin. Mrs. Martin always smiled back at him, but she had never chosen him to be a classroom helper.

The warning bell was ringing as Ramón hurried into the school building. He had almost reached his classroom when he saw a little girl sitting on the floor, crying as she tried to pick up crayons she had dropped.

Ramón bent down beside her. “I’ll help you.”

Soon all the crayons were picked up, and the little girl hurried on her way.

Mrs. Martin stood at the door of the classroom. Ramón smiled at her. “I’m sorry I’m late,” he said. He sat at his desk and waited for Mrs. Martin to announce this week’s helpers.

She chose Alise to put the library books away, Matt to pass out the study pages, Maria to take care of the art supplies, and Robert to feed the fish.

Ramón was sad that he was not chosen for any of the jobs. He took his pencil out of his desk and got ready to start his work. Just then Matt, who was passing out the study pages, dropped the whole pile.

Ramón jumped up. He helped Matt pick up the papers. Matt didn’t say thank you, but Ramón smiled at him anyway.

The classroom door opened, and the principal walked in. With him was a boy Ramón had never seen before. Mrs. Martin spoke to them for a moment.

When the principal left, Mrs. Martin said, “Class, this is Steven, who will now be in our class. I want you to welcome him.”

Then Mrs. Martin said, “Ramón, you are always friendly and smiling and helpful. Will you be my very special helper today and show Steven all around our school? He needs to know where the gym, the cafeteria and the washrooms are.”

Ramón smiled at his teacher and nodded. He smiled at Steven too.

On the way home from school that day, Ramón ran and skipped and jogged. He was too happy to walk.

“This was a very special day,” he told his mother, “because I got to be a very special helper.”

Illustrated by Taia Morley