Grandparents Program-Celebrating Generations
Every year, The Carey School community comes together formally to celebrate Grandparents. It has been a special day for students to show some of the most important people in their lives what a day is like for them at Carey. Keane, a first grader, puts it this way: “My favorite thing that I have done at The Carey School with my Grandparents is playing math games with Grammy and Poppa and making picture frames with Grandma and Papa.” As special as this annual tradition is, we would like to take a moment to reflect on how important Grandparents are to the school throughout the year.
An important part of The Carey School’s mission is to inspire a life-long love of learning in its students, with a related commitment to respecting the diversity of people that enriches our strong school community and society at large. What better models of life-long learning or respect for tradition and history are there than our Grandparents? By welcoming year-round involvement from these important members of the extended Carey family, the school recognizes the critical role Grandparents play in educating children today. They are caregivers, preservers of family ties and transmitters of culture whose involvement in the lives of their grandchildren helps to build close bonds between generations.
This past October, more than 35 Carey Grandparents attended the school’s annual Walkfest, a walkathon fundraiser followed by a lunch and party. Grandparents walked hand in hand with their grandchildren, cheered the kids on from the track and relaxed in the Grandstand while getting to know other Carey grandparents and community members. Grandparent participants received special “Proud Grandparent of a Carey Kid” t-shirts and were presented with a gold medal of participation by their grandchild.
Also this fall, the first graders were fortunate to have five talented Grandparents participate in their annual Teddy Bear Day. These skilled Grandparents helped the students make unique, one-of-a kind teddy bears, by assisting them with stuffing the bears, sewing on little button noses and stitching them closed. The first graders relished the chance to work side-by-side with such experienced and loving Grandparent volunteers and created memories that will last a lifetime. These examples of intergenerational learning demonstrate the importance of elders in our children’s lives and in our Carey school community.
Throughout the year, Carey Grandparents also attend traditional school events including Holiday Sing, Operetta and the kindergarten and fifth grade graduations. These events wouldn’t be the same without the whole family, from generation to generation, helping to mark these annual traditions and witness important milestones in the children’s elementary school lives. Josiah, a first grader, says this about his Grandfather: “The most fun thing has been Paka going to my Operetta because he listened and said I did a good job.”
This year, we look forward to introducing Generations Day on March 16th, 2012. It will be a day of intergenerational learning, Carey Grandparents sharing their stories and contributing to learning in the classroom and our children sharing a glimpse of their experience at The Carey School. More details will be forthcoming in The New Year.
The Carey School is grateful for its Grandparents and all they do to better the lives of the children they love. Thank you for helping to build closer bonds between generations and providing a richness to our community that is invaluable to us all. We are truly grateful.