PEORIA, Ill. – A group of students volunteered to give up their recess in order to learn sign language, so they can communicate with their deaf classmate.

On Wednesdays, a group of fifth grade students at Mark Bills Middle School in Peoria, Illinois head to the library when they would normally be playing with their friends.

Their classmate, Rhemy Elsey was born completely deaf, WMBD reports. He is able to hear thanks to a set of cochlear implants, but he is able to communicate best through sign language.

So his classmates started the American Sign Language Club, just so they can learn to communicate with their friend.

The students say it’s challenging, but it’s worth it.

“Sometimes you really want to talk while you’re signing but then you have to get used to just using your hands instead of your mouth to communicate with other people,” student Tabria Smith said.

Their openness to learn a new language doesn’t go unnoticed.

“It makes me feel happy,” Elsey said.

These kids decided to give up their recess so the could learn sign language

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