Valentines that Sunflower School students made for students at their sister school in Japan have attracted a substantial amount of attention.
In February, the Sunflower students sent the Valentine's Day greetings to Nadeshiko Elementary School in Hiratsuka, Japan. Soon after they were received, a Japanese newspaper, Shonan Home Journal, ran a story. And the postmaster at a nearby post office asked to display the Sunflower students' Valentines.
"A happy news proliferation," Yasuo Morofushi, principal at Nadeshiko, said in a letter to Sunflower principal Janet Broers.
The two schools started a relationship more than two years ago. It was natural that Nadeshiko -- which is the city flower of Hiratsuka -- should have a bond with Sunflower, 2521 Inverness Dr.
The two schools have exchanged flower seeds, artwork and information about their schools.
"We found out some things that were similar," Broers said. "Theirs is a fairly new school, too. We found out some things that were not similar, since they are near the ocean and we, of course, are not."
Last fall, a delegation from Hiratsuka visited Sunflower School, and students in each class learned greetings in Japanese. Students also presented gifts to the delegation, which included the mayor of Hiratsuka.
"After they toured the school and made their way all the way around, they were pretty loaded down with things," Broers said.
Last Christmas, Sunflower students received cards made from stems of sunflowers that Nadeshiko students grew from seeds sent from the Lawrence school.
"It's been a good learning experience for us," Broers said. "We're learning about their culture, and they're learning about ours. We're weaving this in as we study about other cultures."