Students at Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center had a sweet day on Thursday. 

No, it wasn't to express joy for an impending four-day weekend  — although the teachers and adults may have thought otherwise. Instead, it was a day-early Valentine's Day celebration. In kindergarten and first grade, teachers played games, read Valentine's Day books to students and altogether tried to get the meaning of the day across — to show our the people closest to us our appreciation and affection. 

While some classrooms played musical chairs to pass the time before their party, others were quick to show off their custom-made boxes to hold their Valentine's Day cards and candy. Long a staple in elementary school classrooms, students decorate shoeboxes into a safe place to keep their goodies. In Susan DeRosa's classroom, that meant students like Jaxon Treloar creating a robot with working lights or Jocelyn Maciarello's unicorn creation. 

Teacher Renae Cotelesse led her classroom in making a craft called "love you to pieces." That included ripping up pieces of red construction paper and pasting them into a heart cutout. The finished project was to be given to a loved one to show appreciation. 

Digital editor

Pete Sirianni is the News' digital editor. Previously, he worked at The Bradford (Pa.) Era. Sirianni is a 2016 IUP graduate, earning a degree in journalism and public relations. Contact him at or on Twitter at @PeterSirianni.

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