Valentine’s Day is special when you are in elementary school. Making valentine “mailboxes”, getting lots of cards and candies, having a class party—it’s a super fun day. But it seemed this Valentine’s Day would be different, with some students attending school in person and others taking online classes at home. Union Ridge Elementary School decided to keep the day special by creating an event that all students could enjoy.
Union Ridge Elementary held a safe and socially-distanced Valentine's Day drive-through event.
At Union Ridge Elementary, fourth grade Leadership students made a video to share information about their drive-through event. The video explained that the event would be safe and socially distanced, with everyone wearing masks. Parents and families would drive through the parking lot in front of the school. Then teachers and counselors would hand goodie bags through the car windows to each student. The directions were pretty straightforward.
But when families started to arrive at Union Ridge, they were greeted with quite a celebration. Party music was blasting. Two teachers wearing dinosaur and shark costumes waved to students at the entrance to the parking lot. A huge sign spelled out, “TATER TOTS, YOU’RE A-MAZE-ING!” (The school has a maze theme this month.) The drive-through was lined with signs shaped like conversation hearts, saying, “You are loved!”. And the entire sidewalk, from start to finish, was filled with teachers, staff, and leadership students cheering, dancing, waving handmade signs, and holding balloons.
Dozens of cars lined the drive-through as students happily shouted greetings to their teachers and claimed their goodie bags. It was a joyous event that was especially welcome at a time when children have been spending most of their time at home. By safely bringing students and teachers together, the school was able to retain some of the magic that comes with a classroom Valentine’s Day. And judging by the huge smiles on everyone’s faces, it was a wonderful way to continue a longstanding Valentine’s Day tradition—with a modern twist.
The entry to the parking lot had a huge sign and teachers in costumes to greet the students.
The entire sidewalk was lined with teachers and fourth grade Leadership students cheering and waving.