Schools celebrate Valentine’s Day by showing thanks

Colorfully-decorated shoe boxes and heart shaped treats, celebrating Valentine’s Day in elementary school is typically a hectic and exciting day.

“It looks like a lot of craziness and a lot of sugar and a lot of cards and parties,” Marshalltown Schools Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson said. “But obviously this year we can’t do that.”

COVID-19 has forced Valentine’s Day celebrations across Marshalltown Elementary Schools to look a bit different this year. Parents were informed by the school district to not send their child to school with outside Valentine’s cards or outside treats in order to align with the schools’ COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

“That’s a pretty big change from what we’ve done in the past,” Stevenson said. “What Superintendent Theron Schutte and I shared with the six different elementary school principals that in order to stay in line with what we have been working on with mitigation the whole year, we wanted to discourage treats and Valentine’s brought in from the outside.”

Schools instead had to think of a different and creative way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Instead of throwing parties to pass out Valentine’s Day cards with candy and trinkets attached, students this year will have time set aside from the school day to make their own Valentine’s Day craft or card, and identify a person or place within the Marshalltown community to give it to.

“For example, they could give it to nursing homes or first responders,” Stevenson said. “We’re just really trying to build up the idea of kids sending a message of thanks and love with others in the community.”

She is not aware of any negative reactions from students or parents regarding the changes, but believes most are understanding of the changes.

“I think everyone at this point in our lives is understanding we just have to keep doing things different and safely, so we can get back to a day someday where we can do things like we used to do,” Stevenson said.


Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or



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