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School Is Where the Heart Is for Parents, Kids

OJAI | WEST VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS

February 15, 1996|MIGUEL HELFT

For Brittanie Burgess, it was a love-filled day at Soule Park.

The 9-year-old Ojai girl sponge-painted on pillowcases, exchanged Valentines with her friends and played with a heart-shaped beanbag.

But for Brittanie, the highlight of the day came when she was blindfolded to play "pin the bear" with a red paper heart. Her friends giggled as she drifted away from the target--a poster of a bear on a tree--and cheered when she was put back on track and pinned the heart on the bear.

Brittanie and a group of nearly 30 home-schooled children and their parents gathered at the park to celebrate Valentine's Day.

The children are part of the Son Valley Educators, a support group of Ojai Valley home-schooling families that get together for monthly field trips and holiday celebrations. The group has about 40 parents involved in home-schooling, said Renee Rapp, who brought her three children to the park.

"Valentine's Day is about loving one another," Brittanie said. "It's fun and you try to help everyone," she said after giving out 21 red-and-pink felt hearts she made with her 4-year-old brother, Justin. After the games, the kids feasted on a picnic lunch capped with ice cream sundaes.

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