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West ISD students spread love on Valentine's Day

Posted: 6:48 PM, Feb 14, 2024
Updated: 2024-02-14 19:48:52-05

WEST, Texas — Valentine's Day is a day to spread love — West Elementary took part in the fun by gift-giving and spreading tons of love.

"Love means showing respect, spreading care," said Landen Fonger, student at West Elementary.

Six-year-old Landen gets the memo on loving others — he’s learning all of this at West Elementary, where he attends first grade.

Landen and his friends are celebrating Valentine’s Day, and even at their young age, they’re learning to care for others.

“You’re being kind, and being kind makes you feel happy,” Landen said.

“Vision Statement: Serve, lead, grow!” said Carrie Kazda, Principal at West Elementary.

Spreading love on Valentine’s Day is something Kazda said is a part of their ritual.

“Every day we say that on announcements, and every day we talk about serving, leading, growing," Kazda said.

"It’s a great way to serve — sharing Valentines and cards and with each other."

One therapist says it's important to give and receive gifts.

“When we give to others, it really does take into the empathy that connection," said local Child Adolescent Therapist, Katie Chadwell.

"It releases dopamine and serotonin because it makes us happy to give to others, and as humans our brains are wired for connection we are meant to be in connection with others."

On Valentine’s Day, 145 million people are expected to exchange cards, which make up 40 percent of gifts people receive on Valentine's Day. Chadwell says handmade gifts are irreplaceable.

"It represents connection so much more than a gift does because you’re able to really express yourself," Chadwell said.

"It takes time especially if you hand-write the card, and that’s not something these days,with technology, that we always get — a lot of times we get something typed or just a text message that says Happy Valentine’s Day."

These first graders believe their school is leading them in the right direction in gift giving.

"If you put a little thing in there and they don’t know about it, it makes them happy," said student, Creed Kreder.

"And it shows love," said another first grader, Frank Workman.