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Santa Cruz Children's School students get ready to bury their Valentine's Day time capsule Thursday afternoon (Matthew Hintz/Sentinel).

SANTA CRUZ -- Students of Santa Cruz Children's School wore pink and red while holding hands in the school's garden on St. Valentine's Day.

They circled around two garden beds, where they were burying a time capsule full of valentines for a future generation of students.

"We're writing down our dreams for the future," said Dan Hoppenfeld, one of the school's founders. "It's an honor to have a vision to make the world a better place."

Approximately 47 students created valentines and pictures for the time capsule, which the school plans to unearth in five years on Valentine's Day. The notes, which expressed desires to maintain friendships and defeat pollution, were directed to future students.

"It was really fun making the valentines," said Quentin Freeman, a 10-year-old fifth-grader. "I think it's great that students in five years will know what it's like this year."

The students especially enjoyed anticipating what the students' reactions will be, said 7-year-old second-grader Sophia Bastin.

"I think they'll be really surprised," Bastin said.

The event aimed to connect the students with future pupils at the school, which has been around for 20 years. Adele Gardner, the school's co-founder, said she has enjoyed watching the students grow up and return to visit the close-knit community.

"They liked it. They really had a lot of fun and started thinking, 'Who will open this?'" Gardener said. "It's been fun to see the students grow up and change."

One former student, Ruby Bracher, returned just for the event.

"It's really cool going to this school, and I'm sad I had to leave," said Bracher, a 13-year-old student at Mount Madonna School. "It's awesome you managed to stuff a lot of things into a box."

The students sang "Oh How Lovely is the Evening" before burying the box next to a patch of California poppies and wildflowers. Gardner teared up as she spoke to the gathering, describing her love for the school and the future generations that would come through the institution.

Andrea Randall, a kindergarten and first-grade teacher on maternity leave, attended the event with her 3-month-old and 3-year-old children. Randall said she was moved to visit the school and see the time capsule buried that her children will hopefully dig up someday.

"It's just amazing," Randall said as she held her son. "I just love being able to watch the kids move through their academic careers."

Follow Sentinel reporter Bonnie Horgos on Twitter at Twitter.com/bhorgos