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Love is ... Cooties, candy corn and making others happy
Fair Street school kindergartners share their thoughts, hearts for Valentine's Day
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Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School kindergartner Paul Statham, 6, writes his name on Valentine's Day cards for classmates Friday. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Valentine's Day, the holiday of love, has arrived, and cupid is not sparing young hearts in Gainesville.

Kindergartners at Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School prepared decorative cards for their classmates Friday, and had plenty to say about the holiday.

And the answers weren't all about cooties and candy.

Brandon Artis, who was initially shy, said Valentine's Day is about giving cards to make people happy. When it came to defining "love," he replied, "Love is when you kiss someone a lot."

Many of the students said their Valentine was their best friend or parent this year. But giving a Valentine to a crush was rejected by most.

"No!" squealed 6-year-old Quensiriah Poole when asked if she would give a Valentine's Day present to a boy classmate. "My Valentine is Johanna," she said of her best friend.

Overwhelmingly, candy was voted the best part of Valentine's Day in Ronda Larned's class.

Six-year-old Paola Alvarez said simply, "Love is candy and candy corn."

Older students had a different take on the day, but the same excitement for Valentines and parties.

Fourth-grader Karla Nunez, 10, said she learned about Valentine's Day from observing her parents celebrate the occasion.

"On Valentine's Day, mom and dad get together and they're happy because it could be their anniversary or their birthday and they give presents," she said.

Fourth-graders described love as "happiness," "sharing" and "being nice."

Some also had Valentine's Day crushes this year.

"I have a Valentine, but it's a secret," Destiny Eberhardt, 10, said with a shy grin.

The students named candy, cards and presents an important part of the day, but also explained that it's a time to express to people that you care about them.

"If someone gives you something and they make it ugly, it doesn't matter. What matters is that your heart does the work," Nunez said.

Her classmate Jarqueze Payne, 9, was in agreement.

"It's better if it comes from the heart," he said.

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