Grand Island Elementary School students in Grimes continued their long tradition of a Valentine Tea party by inviting their families and people from the community to enjoy the arts.
On Friday morning, boys greeted people as they came through the doors and offered them an arm in a gentlemanly gesture, escorting guests to their table. Girls, like 10-year-old Diana, came to the tables with a silver teapot, sugar bowl, creamer jar, and trays of baked goods.
Each table was decorated with real flowers in a vase and balloon centerpiece surrounded by handmade placemats, in an effort to create a romantic atmosphere.
Students sang, danced, and played recorders on stage.
Vice Principal Blake Kitchen said the event was an opportunity for students to explore new skills.
He also said that performing music benefits the students by building their self-confidence.
Recorder player Jamison pointed out that they were able to play several songs after studying the instrument “for a month and a week,” which included learning to read sheet music.
The afternoon was concluded with a presentation of Valentine mailboxes created by the students. Originally, the Tea party included a clothing fashion show but in order to involve all the children and give them an opportunity to create, they switched to the mailbox idea.
Kitchen said he was proud to be promoting the arts.
“We used to be a STEM school but now we’re calling it STEAM; we’ve added the A in there for Arts,” Kitchen said. “We focus on the visual/performing arts; the kids get a lot of opportunities.”
Academically, STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Grand Island students have had plenty of opportunities to showcase their artistic side. The Valentine Tea Party was one of many annual events the school hosts each year, including a Thanksgiving Feast and Christmas Program. The next event will be their Spring Dinner, which will be held the evening of April 27.
In danger of closing, due to low enrollment, Grand Island Elementary invites new students, officials said.
“Our doors are open, our numbers are low,” Kitchen added.
Busses and vans are available for transportation and the district has an afterschool program at Grand Island.
“We’d love to have anyone interested in coming, come on down and let’s take a tour of the school,” Kitchen said.
Registration for Transitional Kindergarten begins Feb. 21. Contact the school office for more information. ■