Fox Elementary families show their love in Valentine’s Day tradition

Dozens of Fox families, students, and teachers lined the their burned school building adding notes of love in what has become a Valentine’s Day tradition.
Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 1:50 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2022 at 11:07 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Dozens of Fox families, students and teachers lined their burned school building with notes of love in what has become a Valentine’s Day tradition.

Every year, students are asked to write down on paper hearts what they love most about the city of Richmond and their community. This year was no different and art teacher, Julie Crowder, took all of their messages and put them in her car Friday afternoon hours before a fire would devastate the building.

“It’s almost spooky, we do this every year and it has a big significance to the school,” said Crowder. “The fact that all of these survived when so many things inside did not, really makes it all the more special.”

Hesitant to let all of her students’ hard work go to waste, Crowder announced on social media that she would be hanging up the responses outside of the school on the fence now lining the property. What she didn’t expect was the overwhelming response of the community coming out to join her.

“People are bringing their own paper, their pictures, flowers, and adding them to our wall,” said Crowder. “It’s just amazing how much love there is in this community.”

The fence is now covered in these messages, parents and children taking well over an hour to hang them all up. Former students stood outside in the cold swapping stories of their time at Fox Elementary, and families hugged one another as they grapple with the devastation of their beloved school.

“You know Fox doesn’t only exist in those walls, it’s about the spirit that exists in each of us and I think that’s what everyone is feeling,” said Ellie Burke, Fox Elementary parent. “There’s a lot of sadness, but there’s even more love.”

A meeting will be held by Fox staff to discuss the future of the school at 7 p.m. Monday night. Afterward, a virtual meeting will be held for Fox families to gather their input and map the road ahead.

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