Shakespeare was a master of the romantic sonnet, but let’s be honest: If your special someone surprised you with a recitation on Valentine’s Day, it would be, um, kind of weird. But an endearing kid delivering a sonnet-o-gram over the phone? Genius.
An annual Valentine’s Day fundraiser, Sonnets by Kids raises money to support the educational youth programs of Shakespeare in Action, a Toronto-based theatre company with a mandate to make the Bard’s plays accessible to kids and youth. (They develop cool, innovative programs like Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop.)
Here’s how it works: On Valentine’s Day, a very charming and talented “Shakespeare Kid” between the ages of seven and 12 will ring up your valentine and recite a sonnet. You have your choice of four of the Bard’s odes to love, you can specify whether you’d like the call to go out between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. EST or 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. EST, and calls can be placed to anywhere in Canada or the US. To top it off, a Shakespeare Kid will sign and mail a personalized copy of the sonnet to your sweetie. The whole thing costs just $25—a steal, if you ask me, and definitely more memorable than roses or chocolates.
Unfortunately, for those of us who haven’t ordered yet, Sonnets by Kids is all booked up for 2015. We’ll just have to satisfy ourselves with this fun video of the kids practicing and placing calls on Valentine’s Day 2011: