Music teacher Tom Larson plays "Love Somebody" on the guitar while the kindergarten through 6th grade sang along.
Sylvia Roeder (above) was one of the warm-hearted, beautiful adopted grandmas who helped make Grandparents day very special.
Fourth grader Brittney Wahl kicked off Grandparents Day by a poem about grandparents which was written by a third grader in California. The poem had a lot of great lines such as, " Grandparents don't have to do anything except be there. They're old, so they shouldn't play hard or run. Everybody should try to have one, especially if you don't have television because Grandparents are the only grownups who have got time."
Members of the Grandma's Club and Seeley Lake P.T.A. register the incoming Grandparents. (seated L-R) Anita Richards, Mary Lynne Jones, Wendy Wetherell, Roxeen Weider, Jill Thorton and Kim Bezanson.
Story & photos
by Patricia Swan Smith
For the Pathfinder
April 16, 1998
What are grandparents for? Well some of them make cookies. Some of them extend a warm hand when you're sad. Some of them will take you fishing. Many have time to spend with little ones. And in Seeley, besides all these wonderful things, you can even catch them doing the Funky Chicken dance!
We have some pretty cool grandparents, and they proved that at the first Annual Grandparents' Day sponsored by the Seeley Lake P.T.A. at Seeley Elementary last Thursday.
It started out with an assembly in the new gym. Fourth grader Brittney Wahl kicked it off by reading the following poem written by a third grader in California.
"A Grandmother is a lady who has no children of her own. She likes other people's little children. A Grandfather is a man Grandmother. He goes for walks with the boys and they talk about fishing and tractors and stuff like that.
Grandparents don't have to do anything except be there. They're old, so they shouldn't play hard or run. It is enough if they drive us to the market where the pretend horse is and have lots of dimes. Or, if they take us for a walk, they should slow down past things like pretty leaves or caterpillars. They should never say "Hurry up".
Usually they are fat, but not too fat to tie your shoes. They wear glasses and funny underwear. They can take their teeth and gums off.
They don't have to be smart, only answer questions like, "Why do dogs hate cats and what is God like?" They don't talk baby talk like visitors do, because it's hard to understand. When they read to us, they don't skip or mind if it is the same story again and again.
Everybody should try to have one, especially if you don't have television because Grandparents are the only grownups who have got time."
After the poem, Tom Larson played the guitar while kindergarten through 6th grade sang "Love Somebody".
Over 90 grandparents participated. Many children who do not have grandparents in the area were able to adopt grandparents for the day.
When the assembly and Funky Chicken was over, the grandparents were then escorted to their grandchildren's rooms. They shared their experiences about what school was like when they were children. You know, things like "When I was a kid, we had to walk 3 miles uphill both ways to school in blowing snow storms."
Some of the grandparents who couldn't attend sent letters to their grandchildren telling them about their school days, and the students read their letters during the program. Many of the letters told the stories of the one-room schools. Another letter told about how a grandparent had to quit school at age 11 because he was needed on the farm.
Besides the grandparents telling their stories, the students shared some of their school activities with their grandparents. Some of the grandparents went on Easter egg hunts, while others attended music class.
While the Seeley P.T.A. has been in existence off and on for years, it basically remained in existence to sponsor the Missoula Children's Theater. The MCT came to the school every other year.
In the fall of 1995, it was reactivated to sponsor the first Annual Boo Bash. In the fall of 1996, they had active officers and regular meetings taking place.
Since that time, they have added new events and fund-raisers with the hopes that the events continue on an annual basis.
The Boo Bash has been a great success for the past three years. It gives the kids a safe and fun place to spend Halloween. Along with the Boo Bash/Chili Feed, the P.T.A. sponsored a "His & Hers" raffle. The money from these activities allowed the P.T.A. to create a "Pocket Grant" for each classroom.
According to P.T.A. member Wendy Wetherell, many of the teachers spend money out of their own pockets for extra school items during the year, thus the "Pocket Grant" was created. This year, many classrooms received approximately $100 in grant money. For example, the second grade purchased a dictionary set, and the fifth grade purchased a new world map.
The P.T.A. also donated $1,500 toward the purchase of the gym floor mats, which protect the floor and allows various functions to be held in the gym while preserving the floor surface.
It provides a Christmas Store to allow students to purchase Christmas gifts for parents or siblings. The items are all donated and the prices are very inexpensive.
Another yearly activity is Teachers & Staff Appreciation Luncheon. The P.T.A. provides lunch and a gives a small gift to each teacher and the staff members.
The P.T.A. has 76 members. The Officers are: President-Mary Lynne Jones, Vice President-Kim Bezanson, Secretary-Wendy Wetherell and Treasurer-Annie Marlatt.
The next meeting will be Wednesday, April 29th, at the Elementary School at 6:30 p.m.. Election of officers will be held during this meeting, and the final plans for the May Ice Cream Social will be made.
The next fund-raiser is set for Friday, May 1st. The Ice Cream Social-Dessert Auction will start at 7 p.m. at the Seeley Lake Grade School. The proceeds from this event will be marked "Road Trip Grant," and will fund classroom field trips which were completely cut from the school budget.
You do not have to attend the meetings to help out. You may volunteer to help with some of the events throughout the year. If you are unable to volunteer or attend the annual functions, and would like to make a donation, you may send your donation to: P.T.A., P.O. Box 59, Seeley Lake, MT 59868.
For more information, please contact one of the officers or check the P.T.A. Bulletin Board at the Grade school, which is located in the hall north of the main office.
"We would like to thank all the parents and the community for their support for the events like the Boo Bash and the His and Hers raffle," Wendy Wetherell said. "Just volunteering to help with one or two events per year or volunteering to be a classroom parent can make such a difference. Look at what a handful of us have accomplished, and just imagine what we could do to make a difference in the life of our children.