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Students show love for Downtown with Valentines to Rutland

Story by Lauren Fabian | February 11th, 2019

Second grade students from Northeast and Northwest Primary Schools visited local businesses with handmade valentines in Downtown Rutland on Thursday morning. Working with the Downtown Rutland Partnership, teachers led students to The Bookmobile, Kelvans, Ruff Life Coffee and the Rutland Area Food Co-op. The glittery construction paper hearts featured kind messages about what each student liked best about Rutland - including the community, hiking trails, schools and more.

“The kids love visiting their local community and expressing their love and gratitude for what makes their community a great place to live,” said Phoebe Forman, an organizer of the activity and a teacher at Northeast Primary School. “I myself found the welcome we received by our local businesses truly heartwarming. Everyone greeted the kids with such warmth. It was a wonderful opportunity for them to learn more about downtown Rutland.”

Students also completed scavenger hunts while walking around the district that highlighted statues, stores, restaurants and murals. Marie Marallo of Northeast Primary School, stated that her class was very excited to be able to go downtown to complete their act of kindness for the day. She remarked that some of the students got to know Rutland even better and discovered new businesses to explore.

At Ruff Life, students were given a portion of the window to personally hang their valentines.

Valerie Clark, 2nd Grade teacher at Northwest Primary said, "It is so heartwarming to witness the excitement when the children see their examples of kindness on display in the Rutland community."

Many of the valentines are on display in the windows of the aforementioned businesses. “We were thrilled to welcome local students to the downtown district,” said Nikki Hindman, Marketing & Events Coordinator for the Downtown Rutland Partnership. “We hope to continue to build a relationship with the Rutland community to showcase all that downtown has to offer.”

Four more second grade classes returned Downtown on Tuesday, February 12th to continue handing out their valentines at The Bakery, The Green Mountain Power Energy Innovation Center, Grow Vermont, McNeil & Reedy, Rutland Restaurant, The Sandwich Shoppe, Speakeasy Cafe, and Timco Jewelers & Goldsmiths.