Valley Creek Elementary Breaks Guinness Book World Record for Longest Friendship Bracelet

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
  • The Valley Creek CommUNITY Friendship Bracelet at McKinney ISD Stadium on Friday, April 28.
  • PTA volunteers (l-r) Kim Cowan, Melissa Schubel and Misty Benzine help to lay out the Valley Creek friendship bracelet for an official Guinness Book of World Records measurement.
  • McKinney ISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt (center) and retired MISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel (partially hidden by camera) record the official measurement of the Valley Creek friendship bracelet for submission to the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Valley Creek Elementary PTA Board member Korrie Lawson (right), who made the arrangements for the Guinness Book measurement, gets the measurement results from the survey crew. The result? 852.19 meters.
  • (l-r) McKinney Mayor George Fuller, retired McKinney ISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel, Valley Creek Principal Dr. Ebonee King and MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt at McKinney ISD Stadium for the official Guinness Book of World Records measurement of the Valley Creek CommUNITY Friendship Bracelet on Friday, April 28, 2023.

McKinney, Texas – “The measurement is not taking place at Valley Creek,” says McKinney ISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt on the other end of the call. “It will be at the stadium.”

A quick navigational adjustment follows, and MISD Stadium emerges in the distance a few minutes later. Walking onto the turf, it quickly becomes apparent why a football field has been chosen as the location for this measurement, Valley Creek Elementary’s official attempt to break the Guinness Book record for the world’s longest friendship bracelet.

Stretching from the field’s south goal line to its counterpart at the opposite end is a thickly braided multi-colored strand that doubles back again eight more times down the length of the field in an unbroken chain.

students in a group holding up a long strand of the friendship bracelet

Valley Creek Elementary students celebrate as they work on the friendship bracelet in the early stages of the project.

The official Guinness Book record for the world’s longest friendship bracelet currently stands at 660.48 meters, and while that figure seems astronomical, this Valley Creek bracelet certainly appears to have a good chance of surpassing it.

A quartet of Valley Creek PTA volunteers led by PTA Board member Korrie Lawson—who is handling Guinness Book’s very specific requirements for documenting and submitting the attempt at the record—showed up early that morning to lay out the colossal bracelet across the field.

A crew from Underwood Drafting and Surveying soon arrives to conduct the official measurement. Pratt and former MISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel are both there to observe the proceedings and complete the required paperwork as official witnesses. Mayor George Fuller and wife Maylee Thomas move up and down the field, helping to arrange the long strands of the bracelet for measuring as the survey crew sets up.

The “Valley Creek CommUNITY Friendship Bracelet” project has been a school-wide affair, months in the making. “We started working on this friendship bracelet in November,” says Valley Creek Principal Dr. Ebonee King, as she observes the proceedings and helps arrange the strands. “Students, teachers, parents and MISd Board members have all taken part in creating it.”

Soon, the Underwood crew has completed their work, and everyone huddles at the goal line, leaning forward in anticipation of the results. Pratt and McDaniel note the final measurement on their paperwork: 852.19 meters.

close up overhead view of bracelet strands laying on the field

The Valley Creek friendship bracelet project began back in November as a way to promote kindness and unity among the Valley Creek community.

There are smiles, congratulations and mild astonishment as the group realizes that Valley Creek appears to have bested the previous record by nearly 200 meters. As the group begins to move back down the field, Lawson carefully gathers the final documentation she needs to submit to the Guinness Book of World Records. She says that she expects to hear back from them soon with their official ruling. But, for Lawson, beating the record serves to bring attention to the project’s bigger goal.

“In the face of constant news about divisiveness in our society,” Lawson reads from a prepared release, “the students at Valley Creek Elementary in McKinney, Texas have shown us the true power of community and teamwork.This project not only brought the students closer together,” she reads, “but it also serves as a reminder that when we come together and work towards a common goal, we can achieve great things and set a positive example.”

The bracelet project was originally conceived by Korrie Lawson and former Valley Creek art teacher Amanda Kelly. With Amanda’s passing in November, the Valley Creek community dedicated the project to Amanda’s memory and pressed forward to complete the heartfelt project that she helped to start.

Just under a week after the measurement, on May 4, 2023, Valley Creek Elementary received word from the Guinness Book of World Records that the school is now the official record holder for the world’s longest friendship bracelet.

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