My sister and I were out shopping a few weeks ago when we stumbled upon a store that specializes in paper goods, invitations, scrap booking, wrapping paper, stationery and other paper crafts. Their window display featured some of the most adorable valentines I had ever seen. Not only were they adorable, they were hip. They were cool. They were perfect for my middle school students. As soon as I saw these were part of a make your own valentines kit, I knew I had to have them for my upcoming family library night.
My mother used to let herself be inspired by things she saw on TV, in magazines or on display at a shop. After preparing the most delicious dish for dinner, or creating a gorgeous centerpiece for her dining room table I remember her saying, "I saw it, and I said to myself, I can do that!" and she did. I felt just like her as I delighted in making valentines with the parents and students who attended family night at my library.
It was a true family night indeed. Parents brought their children, along with their younger siblings and we all had a grand time making valentines together. The parents made valentines, the little brothers and sisters made valentines, the students made valentines, we all talked and enjoyed refreshments. About 20 people came in all, which was perfect. If there were any more people, I don't know if the event would have felt as intimate.
The more I reflect on the event, the better it gets. The simplicity of it is what makes it great. Here is a school event that does not require team or club membership; it is open to everyone. There is no practice or competition, and no grades. Students participate alongside their siblings and parents and teachers. What a great way to build a sense of community.
As I cleaned up after the event, rather than feeling tired and worn out, I felt energized by how well the event went. There is something therapeutic about sitting around a table with other people, cutting and gluing together, and making something for someone else. When my mother was inspired by cooking shows and magazine covers, my whole family enjoyed the results. It is a great feeling to allow myself to be inspired, silencing the negative, nay saying voice in my head , and watch others enjoy the results of my inspiration.