Valentine’s Day transformed to day of community building


Students will spend Feb. 14 doing hands-on projects focused on love, kindness and wellness.

Friday, Feb. 14 is getting a new look this year. Instead of a normal school day filled with roses, chocolates and stuffed bears, it will be an early release day of “love and service’’ filled with projects and activities to honor the tragic losses at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.

That Friday will be a non-instructional day meant to focus on projects that according to assistant principal and event organizer Helene Kocis, have a focal point on “service, kindness, love and wellness.”

Activity options include kindness rocks, wishing trees, birdhouses, door paintings, school cleanup, letter writing, page corner bookmarks, poetry, mental awareness and violence prevention projects. The projects aim to bring together the community and show the appreciation students and faculty have for one another and the school.

Originally Feb. 20 was slotted as an early release day, but the school board revised the school calendar to allow for Feb. 14 as a day of remembrance.

Since this is a sensitive day to many, an excused absence is available via parental permission. A form is posted on the school website and will be due by Jan. 17. Students attending on this day also submit the form, marking their preferred activities so they can be directed to the proper location.
This will become an annual event, commemorating the tragic events of 2018.