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The floor of Marissa James' third-grade classroom at Jackson K-8 on Thursday was littered with a rainbow of construction paper.

Her class was hard at work creating Valentine's Day cards for active military members with the help of Rep. Kevin Schreiber, D-York City, who also provided an array of heart-shaped supplies for the project.

Damien Brant opted to fold his cards and cut out shapes to create a snowflake Valentine, while his classmate Madison Brackill filled her card with as many hearts as she could — 63, to be exact or "an explosion of hearts," as Schreiber put it.

Other students like Na'ziyah Valdez, who drew an American flag inside a heart on her card, highlighted patriotism, and Ali'Asia Braswell expressed her heartfelt thanks with a written message inside her Valentine.

"Thank you for your service," the card read. "Never think you can't do anything, you just keep going. We are all thankful that you would sacrifice your lives for us."

Schreiber said the idea of visiting schools to create the cards alongside the students, which he's been doing for three years now, came together organically.

"At first we just wanted to do something fun with the students, and then we thought about making cards and where to send them," Shreiber said, noting several students in James' class had family in the military. "It's important to be thinking about these men and women overseas."

Schreiber has served as an arts and crafts mentor in several classrooms this year, including those at McKinley and Ferguson K-8 as well as Logos Academy, York Country Day School, York Academy Regional Charter School and Lincolnway Elementary School.

"It's just a blast," Schreiber said after showing a table of students how to make paper cutouts pop out when the cards are opened. "And it's really touching, and kind of endearing — the amount of thought they put into these. It's always definitely a lot of fun."

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.

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