Students at a southwest Calgary school are being asked to bring their toonies and loonies to class this month instead of making heart-shaped cards for Valentine’s Day.

The third and fourth grade students at Alexander Ferguson School will donate the money to the Calgary Humane Society.

Principal Hildegard Bensler said she wants the students to direct their energy towards important issues in the community, instead of heart-shaped notes and chocolates.

"In lieu of those cards, they could make a donation," she said.

"Just yesterday I was talking to some kids and I said ‘So why are pets important and why are we talking about it at Valentine’s Day?’ And they said ‘Well sometimes our day at school doesn't go so well and I come home and I don't want to talk with my parents about something that happened at school but if I sit and talk with my pet, they'll understand.’"

Bensler says students can still make Valentines at home and bring them to school, but if they do they have to bring one for everyone in the class.