The New Girl 


Stacey couldn’t wait for the Valentine’s Day party to begin. Everybody had decorated a big envelope with hearts and flowers. And there were cupcakes and candy hearts for the party after lunch.


When the bell rang, everyone stood to pray the Hail Mary and pledge to the flag. Stacey noticed a new girl. The name card on her desk said Alice. Stacey had never seen her before.


Mrs. Meyer took attendance and collected lunch money. Then she asked everyone to be very quiet.


“We have a new student, today,” she said. “Alice would you please stand up so we can all welcome you?”


Alice looked a little embarrassed but she stood up and smiled.

Everyone said, “Hi, Alice.”


 “Could you tell us a little about yourself?” Mrs. Meyer asked.


“My name is Alice Crenshaw. My family just moved here from Baltimore, Maryland. I have a little brother in second grade and a sister in junior high.”


 Stacey thought hard. Everyone had been told to bring enough Valentines for everyone in the class, but there would be no Valentines for Stacey.


When the bell rang for recess, Stacey stayed behind to talk to Mrs. Meyer.


“Stacey, you look worried,” Mrs. Meyer said when she saw Stacey standing by the desk. “Is there a problem?”


“Well, “ Stacey said, “Alice is new.  No one knew she was coming. And when we have the Valentine party, there won’t be any cards for her.”


 “Hmmm. That is a problem. Do you mind giving up your recess to come with me?”

 “No, ma’am.” Stacey followed Mrs. Meyer to the art room. Mr. Faber was their art teacher. He was busy cleaning brushes.


“Good morning Mrs. Meyer. Good morning, Stacey. What brings you to the art room so early in the day?”


Mrs. Meyer explained that they had a new student and there wouldn’t be any valentines for her at the Valentine party.


 “Well, it just so happens your class has art right after recess, today,” Mr. Faber answered, smiling.


Stacey grinned.  “That gives me an idea! Can we all make Valentine’s Day cards for Alice?”


Mr. Faber touched his chin. “Well, I had something else planned for today, but we can do that next week.”


Mrs. Meyer turned to Stacey. “How would you feel about skipping art class today and taking Alice on a tour of the school. I’m sure she doesn’t know where the cafeteria is, or the gym, or the library…”


“That’s fine with me,” Stacey answered, wondering how many places in the school she could take Alice.


“I’ll talk to Principal Reeves and make sure it’s clear to visit all of the specialty rooms. Do you think you can keep her busy for the whole art period? “


When recess was over, Stacey introduced herself to Alice and together they explored the entire school. They even visited the boiler room and the boiler operator told them how he even comes to school on the weekends to make sure the boilers are keeping the building warm. They were invited to listen to band practice. And the librarian made sure Alice had a school library card.

Stacey was so excited, she could hardly contain herself. However, she knew she had to keep Alice busy at all costs. By the time the hour ended, Alice was smiling and looked less nervous than she did earlier.


“Boy, I hope I can join the band,” she said. “I’d love to learn to play the clarinet.”


“Maybe I will too,” said Stacey. “They have band camp in the summer for new players.”


After lunch, Mrs. Meyer told everyone to get out their valentines. They could begin passing them out to their friends.

 Stacey gleamed. As she looked at Alice’s desk, valentines began piling up.  One…two… three… four cards were already on her desk.


“I know,” Stacey whispered with a smile.


Mr. Faber came into the room. “May I borrow Stacey for just one moment, please?”


Mr. Faber came into the room. “May I borrow Stacey for just one moment, please?”


Stacey followed Mr. Faber into the hall. “What a wonderful idea you and Mrs. Meyer had. Here’s some paper for you to make Alice a card. And some special glittery markers.”


Stacey knew just what she would write.

“Happy Valentine’s Day to my new friend.”





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