Friday, October 15, 2004

Grandparents go back to school

Express Staff Writer

Galena Hansen, left, invited her grandmother Bonnie Hansen of Burley for Grandparents? Day. Photo by David N. Seelig

The attendance at Hemingway Elementary School on Wednesday, Oct. 13 was well above normal, thanks to the number of grandparents who attended school with their grandchildren. According to Principal Don Haisley, approximately 200 grandparents came to share in the education process during the annual Grandparents? Day.

?Education is a community event that involves the whole family,? Haisley said. ?Our goal is to have the entire family involved in education.?

The attendees came from as far away as California, Missouri and even New Jersey to be with their grandchildren. Some children even hosted two sets of grandparents.

?I bet half the class had their grandparents here. It was interesting because all the grandparents came from different places,? remarked Judy Sparks of Dos Palos, Calif., the grandmother of third-grader Kelsey Syms.

By inviting grandparents to take part in school activities the school encourages communication across generations.

?My grandson called me about a year ago to ask me if I could come. I was about ready to cancel a trip to South America, but luckily the trip was changed,? Juanita Pemberton commented. Pemberton traveled from Springfield, Mo., to spend the day with her fifth-grade grandson Nathan Moses.

Throughout the day the adults enjoyed a true taste of elementary education. They took part in classroom discussions, visited physical education classes, attended music classes, experienced technology lessons and the majority dined on school lunches. The school served 137 lunches to grandparents during the day, said Bonnie Nichols, Hemingway?s kitchen manager.

?It gives grandparents the chance to come in an see what we are doing,? Haisley said.

The students decorated the halls with projects pertaining to their loved ones. Classes wrote stories and drew pictures about their families, sharing their work throughout the event.

?It?s good to open the doors and bring in the extended family once a year,? Haisley said.

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