Johnson Elementary in Rockford, Illinois was abuzz with excitement on February 13th as staff and students gathered to share the progress of their mission to collect valentines. The project, called Hearts Around The World, was initiated by kindergarten teacher Kaitlyn Graham who made a Facebook post requesting people to send valentines.
Over the past month, students at Johnson Elementary had eagerly awaited the arrival of their Valentine’s Day cards. On February 13th, they gathered together to exchange them, their faces lighting up with delight as they opened each card, photo or special gift that had been sent from new friends and family across 13 countries and 48 states.
Kaitlyn Graham expressed her excitement as she watched the students open their cards, “This project has been a group effort and it’s been amazing to see the kids open these valentines,” she said. “Especially since many of them were from the students’ families, it made it extra special for them.”
Tina Szymanski, another teacher at the school, was overwhelmed by the feedback and support they received. She described the project as a heartwarming mission that brought joy and excitement to the students at Johnson Elementary. To track the origin of the valentines, the teachers created a map in the kindergarten hallway and placed a heart sticker on each state or country where they came from. As of February 13th, staff members were still waiting for two more states – Rhode Island and Oklahoma – before Valentine’s Day could officially begin. Despite this delay, there was no doubt that this unique project had already added an extra special touch to this year’s Valentine’s Day celebration at Johnson Elementary School.