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Grandparents' Day at
Seeley Lake Elementary

Seeley Swan Pathfinder
March 18, 1999

by Nancy Miller, PTA Member

"A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."

Last April, the Seeley Lake Elementary PTA tried a new idea - Grandparents' Day: an afternoon set aside for students to show their appreciation for senior citizens and for the seniors to share some of their life experiences with students. The idea was to provide an atmosphere where friendships could be made and appreciation could be shown between these two generations. No one really knew what to expect, but about 100 seniors came (grandparents and "adoptive" grandparents), and about 240 kids serenaded and honored these seniors during a short program in the gym. Afterwards, grandparents and "adoptive" grandparents visited a classroom for about half an hour, each teacher choosing to spend this time differently. Classroom time was also set up like an open house, giving grandparents the freedom to move from one classroom to another if so desired. When the school day was over, some senior citizens were asked if they would participate again and they overwhelmingly said, "Yes!"

Grandparents' Day accomplishes many things. It's an opportunity for seniors to come into the school, see the classrooms, meet the teachers and to socialize with the students. Seniors might also see that their help and expertise, shared on a weekly or monthly basis, could be invaluable to our students' education. It is PTA's mission to tap into this wealth of information and expertise we know our seniors possess and to have their shared life experiences forge that multi-generational bridge.

The PTA is organizing the 2nd Annual grandparents' Day on Thursday, April 1st and invites all grandparents and area senior citizens to participate - to share their experiences, historical perspectives and their stories with a younger generation.

Of course, if you are a grandparent living in the area or visiting your grandchild/children, you will want to come if you can. But this is also an invitation to any seniors in the area who do not have grandkids here and want to be an "adoptive" grandparent. To be involved, these seniors can call Kim Bezanson at 677-3076.

Students have already brought home information about Grandparents' Day. Parents, please return the appropriate portion of these papers to school by kid express. Be sure to look for the PTA article in next week's Pathfinder with more details about Grandparents' Day.

As Hillary Rodham Clinton has reminded us: it takes a village to raise a child.

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