Normally, the practice of giving out Valentines on Valentine’s Day ends after elementary school. At DaVinci Academy, though, the tradition lives on.
DaVinci Academy is a charter school focused on the sciences and arts in Ogden. Every year, the Weber State University Chair of Service for DaVinci Academy puts together Valentines for the students. This year it was Jenna Thoits who cut up and wrote on over 1,000 hearts and got candy to give out to students.
The WSU Service Team began the event to give everyone the opportunity to feel loved and still get a valentine, even if they’re in high school. The event partners with Done in a Day so students can receive service credit. The event also gives DaVinci the chance to promote WSU to its students.
Last year, the event was held in the DaVinci elementary school, with the valentines stuck to students’ lockers. However, the sixth graders were taking all the candy so none of the younger students would get any, leading to the change to the high school this year.
“I like doing this event at the high school because students are more understanding and appreciative of the Valentine’s Day aspect,” Thoits said. “They still get the elementary aspect of getting Valentines again but without having to make them, and everyone still gets one.”
Thoits had two tables set up on in main hall of DaVinci Academy with two volunteers, Gabrielle Tsosie and Carly Johnson from WSU there to help her. The tables were covered in paper hearts with positive messages on them such as, “WSU loves you!”, “Happy Love Day!” and “You are special!” Students could come by and pick up Valentines to give out or keep for themselves.
“I think this event is just cute and adorable,” Tsosie said. “I can see girls putting them in students’ lockers for their friends, and it is the most adorable thing I’ve seen high schoolers do.”
Miah Lamere and Elizabeth Evenhuis are two eighth graders at DaVinci who decided to take a bunch of the hearts and put them into their friends lockers.
“When I see my friends and they’re sad, I like to see what I can do,” Evenhuis said. “Putting the hearts in the lockers gives them something good to make them happy, especially if they’re having a bad day.”
Miah Lamere said she thinks it’s nice to receive surprises and the idea is creative. She appreciated that it just seeks to make people’s days better.