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Friendship parties replace Valentine's parties at schools

Friendship parties replace Valentine's parties at schools

6:22 AM, Feb 14, 2013   |   1  comments
Friendship parties replace Valentine's parties
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By Pat McGonigle

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - If you recall buying individual Valentine's Day cards for all 25 students in your grade schoolclassroom, you are not alone. But you might be surprised to discover that the traditional elementary school Valentine's Day classroom party is not what it used to be.

Early education experts say it's an improvement---and, before your get your hackles up, insist there is no "war on Valentine's Day" at America's schools.

"Oh, heavens no," says Dr. Donna Wagener, principal at Trautwein Elementary in the Mehlville School District.

Trautwein Elementary is one of 24 schools across the country designated as a National School of Character. It's an honor reserved only for schools that excel in incorporating "character education in everything they do."

A "Friendship Party" at a first grade classroom at Trautwein Elementary looks and sounds a lot like the way you probably remember Valentine's Day parties.

Friendship parties aren't unique to Trautwein Elementary. Several other districts, including the Parkway School District, focus on friendship on February 14.

"It's just like any other holiday party," sats Patrick Sloan, a 6-year-old at Trautwein. "Except we talk about ways to be a good friend."

"We just make sure we're being Tigers of Integrity," says fellow first grader Madison Pike.

"We still make Valentines and stuff," says Patrick Sloan.

Chris Eddy, another first grader at Trautwein, likes friendship parties because, "we talk a lot about caring and sharing."

"We haven't eliminated Valentine's Day," says Dr. Wagener. "We've just tried to reinforce that this is a day that we recognize each other asfriends and we treat each other as friends."

So we can still buy a 25-pack of "Be Mine" Valentine Cards and make a Valentine mailbox out of shoe box?

"Of course," smiles Dr. Wagener.

Phew.

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 8:28 AM
Replies (11-19):
christina0607
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM
2 moms liked this
So glad my kids go to a school that doesn't make everything so complicated. We have valentines parties and...gasp.,,Christmas parties. We celebrate birthdays and let the kids play tag.
jlo1313
by Silver Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:58 PM

I think everything should encourage friendship and we need education on how to be a good friend.  Without friendship, you can not endure a long-standing relationship with anyone.

desertlvn
by Silver Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 7:08 PM

DANG!! I wish I had read this a week ago. I have a student who is Jehovah Witness and I didn't have a party. I heart this idea!

colins_mom
by Silver Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM

i think its good for little ones :) little kids don't need to worry about "liking" someone all they need to focus on is friendship

stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 8:47 PM

I think it is a good idea.  I don't think my first grader needs to be focusing on boyfriends.  I detest when people talk about their kids having "a little boyfriend" or "a little girlfriend."  Why can't a kid have a friend without all that baggage?  

glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 8:53 PM
1 mom liked this

good idea I wish more schools focused on being better people and not just test. There is more to being well rounded than knowing what box to check


maciymommieof3
by Silver Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 8:54 PM

ditto to that momma :)

Quoting glitterteaz:

good idea I wish more schools focused on being better people and not just test. There is more to being well rounded than knowing what box to check



teddysmama09
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 10:26 PM

 

Quoting desertlvn:

DANG!! I wish I had read this a week ago. I have a student who is Jehovah Witness and I didn't have a party. I heart this idea!

 I can't speak for the family of your student personally, but as one of Jehovahs Witnesses I can assure you that we do not, in general, expect entire classes to change for us. My sons preschool did a Valentines party today and we kept my son home (we did other fun things, so he didn't miss out on fun stuff.) Some of my other friends (also witnesses) let their kids go to school, but they had their own projects- my friends little girl, for instance, wrote a card for her best friend.

I do have to say though, that it was very thoughtful of you to take this student and his/her family into consideration. : )

breastfeeding

AMom29
by Gold Member on Feb. 16, 2013 at 12:04 AM


Quoting desertlvn:

DANG!! I wish I had read this a week ago. I have a student who is Jehovah Witness and I didn't have a party. I heart this idea!

Kudos to you, Momma.  I'm thrilled that you would do that.


My son's teacher had a party, but the class he mainstreams with did not.  My daughter's teacher said they weren't having a party to "maximize their time for instruction", but could hand out valentines at the end of the day. That was enough for her.

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