A teacher captured a touching moment between two little girls from Mississippi. Credit: Courtesy Olivia Barrett Ellis

Two 6-year-olds from Clarksdale, Mississippi, have become a symbol of hope after a photo of them holding hands while napping went viral. Their teacher Olivia Ellis captured the sweet moment between Lucy, who is white, and Samiyah, who is black, and posted it to the Presbyterian Day School Facebook page on March 22 with the Bible verse: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7."

“I knew as soon as I found the girls asleep with their hands clenched together that I had to get my camera,” Ellis tells Us Weekly. “I was overwhelmed with happiness. To find two children in such a sweet and innocent act, it really warmed my heart because there seems to be so much hate in our world today.”

The kindergartners — Lucy and Samiyah — became instant friends on the first day of school. “The girls enjoy swinging, sliding and playing tag with each other and their classmates,” says Ellis. “They are inseparable on the playground and in the classroom … Both are slightly shy and bring such joy and positive vibe to our kindergarten classroom.”

Ellis isn’t the only one who was moved. “Good examples of how it should be. No prejudice shown here, just two friends. through and through,” wrote one Facebook user, while another commented “Beautiful. What adults can learn.”

“I think this image is important because Mississippi has such a bad reputation when it comes to racial issues,” Ellis tells Us. “I believe these girls show just how progressive Mississippi has gotten when it comes to racial issues … I believe the Lord is working through the girls to show his light and love as we continue to break barriers in our world today.”

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