KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Monday, March 7, the Parade of Hearts will reveal where it will place all 154 oversized hearts in the new initiative.
In the meantime, students at St. Elizabeth Catholic School in Kansas City, Missouri, have started their own parade of hearts.
“The main theme is to have all the students feel like they’re one community, they’re one, they’re together, they’re whole,” explained Alex McBride, a seventh-grade student and secretary of the school’s student council.
Each classroom in the pre-k through eighth grade school will decorate a roughly 2-by-2 feet heart and place it in the hallway. Hearts are decorated to promote kindness, inclusion, and belonging.
Second grade student Simon Underwood said he learned those lessons in pre-k when he first met Leo, who is now his best friend. Leo has autism and Down’s syndrome, yet Underwood said the two boys have a lot in common, like a love of reading.
“Everybody wants to be kind and everybody, of course, wants to make some friends, so I did those things with Leo,” Underwood said.
He hopes his classroom’s heart encourages other students in the school to embrace those lessons.
While St. Elizabeth’s parade of hearts is inspired by the upcoming, city-wide Parade of Hearts, the school project is unaffiliated with the official event whose mission is to unite the region with public art.
The official Parade of Hearts will auction off all 154 giant hearts in June to raise money for local charities negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.