Laughter is filling the air and contagious smiles are spreading. It’s Thursday night, and the Adopt-A-Grandparent Club is in full swing at Songbird Lodge.

“I love playing games with them,” said Natalie Martinez, a sixth grade student at Brownwood Intermediate School. “We play and tell jokes and talk about our week. We all look forward to Thursdays.”

Brownwood Intermediate student Bailey Watkins started the Adopt-A-Grandparent Club after participating in a fiddle recital at another local nursing home.

“I saw how lonely some of the residents were and I thought I could make a difference,” she said. “I asked my parents if we could start spending time at a nursing home, and the Adopt-A-Grandparent started from there.”

Also a charter member of the club is classmate Jordan Griffin.

The three students have after-school activities that combined are enough to leave anyone exhausted. They include homework, projects, reading, basketball games, P.I.P.S., soccer practice and games, flute practice and fiddle practice.

“No matter what we have going on during the week, we all work hard and get it done because Thursday nights have become one of the best nights of our week and we don’t want to miss it.” Griffin said.

The three girls and their “grandparents” have become more than friends.

“We’re family,” the students said in unison.

Anyone interested in becoming part of the Adopt-A-Grandparent Club is asked to call (325) 217-2043.