ORLANDO, Fla. – Teachers at Lake Whitney Elementary School in Windermere weren’t going to let the pandemic get in the way of giving their students a special Valentine’s Day.
“The kids were really excited about Valentine’s thinking they could bring something in and when they found out they couldn’t, we were trying to figure out what to do and how to do it,” said Janeen Cuccinello, a fourth grade teacher at the school.
So, to keep the tradition of sweetening the day while remaining within safety protocols due to COVID-19, a group of teachers used a software program called Flipgrid after the school’s IT department suggested it could come in handy. This year the students weren’t allowed to share candy and cards, so instead, they shared encouraging messages and some laughs through short videos.
“So, they shared Valentine’s Day wishes with everybody in the class. Some of them did like breaking news, you know ,‘It’s Valentine’s Day, happy Valentine’s Day’ and jokes--telling jokes; I can’t give you Valentine’s, but I can give you jokes. So, it was really sweet,” Cuccinello said.
Beth Prince, principal of the school, said it was thanks to the creativity of her teachers and staff that they were able to give the students a Valentine’s Day celebration they deserved.
“When the district said to think of some alternative ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day, I have to give my hats off to our teachers,” Prince said. “They really make a concerted effort to make sure that children’s well-being both emotionally and physically are checked on frequently and are really put in the forefront.”