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Families show love in words, pictures

As Valentine's Day rolled around earlier this week, students at Brooksville Elementary School had a special assignment. They had to write essays describing what they love about their families.

Tonight, families are invited to the school to see the essays and to place them in a book with family pictures during the school's first Brooksville Elementary Scrapbook Night.

"We're providing all the supplies and dinner," said family center coordinator Amy Anderson. "Parents just bring in pictures they want to put in the scrapbook, and the essay the kids wrote will be the centerpiece. It will pull a little at the heartstrings because the essay and pictures are so meaningful."

The school's PTA is hosting the event, along with help from Anderson and principal Mary LeDoux.

"We just thought it was the perfect time to do this," said PTA treasurer Lisa Gaudin. "With the holiday and all the preparations for testing, this will be a nice, stress-free break from that. It's a relaxing, bonding experience for parents and children."

The school expects about 80 to 100 people to attend the event. Gaudin is bringing her 10-year-old, Jesse, a fourth-grader.

"I'm looking forward to it because it's a chance to hang out and have fun with my mom and my friends at school," Jesse said. "It's good to see people from school outside of the regular school time."

Jesse said his essay was about the fun things he does with his family.

"It's mostly about what we do together," he said. "I wrote about practicing sports and things like that."

Jesse said he hopes his mom fills the scrapbook with pictures of him playing baseball and having fun.

The event will take place in the school cafeteria from 6 to 8 p.m. Pizza, soda and cookies will be available for a small price.

"We're all so busy these days that it's hard for parents to spend time with their kids," Anderson said. "This is a way for families to spend time together doing something creative. And when it's done, everybody will have created a memory they can take home with them."