Grandparents play a key role in family matters, some even raising their grandchildren when parents are unable to do so.
On Friday, students gave thanks as they and The Varnett Public School invited them for breakfast at all three campuses to show their appreciation in advance of National Grandparents Day on Sunday, Sept. 8. In all, nearly 700 grandparents and other relatives enjoyed the hospitality as they were treated to Danish pastries, muffins, turkey sausages, fruit and juice.
“Grandparents are playing a major role in the lives of today’s youth,” said Mrs. Twilet Alexander, Northeast Campus Director. “Seeing them come out and showing their support really keeps us encouraged.” In many cases, grandparents are still playing the role of parents even after their own children have grown. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 7 million people had grandchildren under 18 live with them in 2011.
Southwest Campus said more than 220 grandparents showed up. Nearly 100 turned out at Southwest PreK, 224 at Northeast and 133 at East.
“I’ve had more grandparents than I’ve ever had,” said Ms. Gayle Voltz, East Campus Director. “The students were excited about sharing that special moment with their grandparents.”
Ms. Voltz said the students in Ms. Mathews’ PreK class received special treats for drawing the highest number of grandparents, 18, than any other class. The winning classroom earned a free “dress down pass” for Thursday, Sept. 12, and received 1,000 stickers to commemorate their success. Ms. Voltz said the students also received a “goodie bag” containing a designer pencil and a fruit snack. The Southwest Campus had a similar contest but a winner has not yet been announced.
Northeast Campus gave their participants bookmarks that read “The Varnett Public School NE is grateful for Grandparents like you. Keep up the good work.” On the back of the bookmark was a quote from the late American writer Alex Haley: “Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.”
President Jimmy Carter signed legislation in 1978 proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as Grandparents Day. This came after Marian McQuade, the mother of 15, grandmother of 43 and great-grandmother to 15, launched a campaign in 1970 to pay tribute to grandparents.
Photos from top to bottom: East, Northeast, Southwest PreK and Southwest
Northeast Campus photos