Spread the love. Is there a cause in your community that could use some loving care? Get the whole school involved in showing your support. Book the school gym to host an evening of heart-healthy games and physical activities. Collect donations at the door and send the proceeds to your cause.

Catch ’em being kind. Designate February “Be Kind, Valentine” month. Ask the teachers to note the everyday kind and helpful things their students do for them and each other, and report the results to your group. At the end of each week in February, give the class with the most acts of kindness a pizza party or other surprise.

Create a heartfelt gift. Host a drop-off event for students to make Valentine’s Day cards and gifts for their parents and other special people in their lives. Decide on a craft and arrange with your school to use the cafeteria for a couple of hours on a day or evening before Feb. 14. Craft ideas include popsicle stick picture frames, wreaths constructed of paper hearts, or simple pins or magnets made from foam hearts.

Conversations from the heart. If Valentine’s Day is an annual reminder to nurture your relationships, here’s a truly useful gift from your parent group to the families in your school community: Brainstorm a list of conversation starters for parents and children. Send the list home with instructions to break it out at dinner time, during family car trips, or whenever the usual topics of conversation get stale. These conversation starters will get the words flowing and encourage parents and their children to grow closer through meaningful interaction. Some examples of conversation starters are:

  • “If I were the principal of our school, I would...”
  • “If I were trapped on a desert island, the three things I would want with me are...”
  • “Something new I learned today was...”
  • “The one person living today I wish I could meet is... I would ask that person...”
  • “The one person from history I wish I could meet is... I would ask that person...”

You might also tailor the list to your own community by including conversation starters about your hometown and school.

Holiday shop all done? Thank your volunteers so they’ll be ready to help next year

A love letter to teachers. Let the faculty and staff of your school know how much you appreciate them by transforming your parent group’s bulletin board into a love letter. If your group doesn’t have its own bulletin board, create a display to post in your school lobby. Add an extra touch of sweetness to your letter by incorporating candy “conversation hearts” into your message. (Because the candy hearts are too tiny to read, use replica paper heart cutouts in the same pastel colors of yellow, green, pink, orange, and white, and transcribe actual sayings from the hearts.) For example, your letter might read:

Dear Teachers,

You are EZ 2 LUV. Every day you DO GOOD. You are our school’s DREAM TEAM, which makes us your #1 Fan. With TRUE LOVE,

Your PTO