Jefferson’s 2021 Class Council held a fortnight of Valentine’s Day Celebration from February 1st to the 14th, featuring the writing of Valentine’s Day Grams and a themed spirit week leading up to Valentine’s Day. This school wide event worked to engage students with virtual school spirit through activities centered around the idea of appreciation for those in our lives.
“It’s just a sense of normalcy, where students can show school spirit during distance learning. Even from a virtual environment, we want to have fun and celebrate the season,” 2021 Class President Matthew Hwang said.
One of the main events, Valentine’s Day grams, faced difficulties when adapting to the virtual environment. These letters were a continuation of previous years’ Rose Grams, where students could write a note for their classmates to be sent accompanied with a rose. This setup would have to be altered to account for the online setting and its limitations.
“When we first saw this idea, we questioned if it was really worth doing. Because a lot of the feedback we received made comparisons to just sending a text message, we wanted that focus on the anonymous option as an alternative for most,” Hwang said.
One issue plaguing almost all virtual events held this year has been participation. In the case of the Valentine’s Day Grams, it was almost the opposite. As Hwang explains, the writing and distribution of letters to the proper people became more of a concern than participation as time progressed.
“We’ve actually gotten lots of submissions, the number being over 200. [Class of] 2024 makes up just under half of the responses, with the other three grades averaging around 16% each. It’s going to take quite a bit of time to get these to the right people, especially with the deadline we set for Valentine’s Day,” Hwang said.
In addition to the sending of letters, a six-day spirit week was held leading up to the 14th. Niko Economos, Vice-President of the 2021 Class Council explained how the activities featured in the week reflected the environment they wanted to create.
“It’s all a collaborative effort,” Economos said. “Everyone is bouncing ideas off each other, making sure we are all happy with the final product, and that we all believe the school will gain something from their participation.”
With the celebration nearing its end, Economos explained that the main goal of it all was to support a medium for students to show appreciation for each other. Through the writing of letters, the feeling of receiving one, or the general vibe of the past two weeks, Economos hopes that they’ve been able to impact students in a positive way.
“I hope that it spreads a little bit of love around on Valentine’s Day, with friends, significant others, and appreciation for teachers. We could all use a little bit of gratitude in these times, so I hope it can make a couple people’s days better.” Economos said.