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Grandparents visit elementary school to see classrooms, visit teachers

One day for 2 generations

Posted: September 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Pamela Sims, of Canyon Country and grandson Nate Benson, a third-grader, work on a project together during Grandparents Day at Plum Canyon Elementary School on Friday morning.

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Proud grandparents of Plum Canyon Elementary School kids came from around the world Friday and attended the Saugus school’s popular event: Grandparents Day.

“It’s a day for the grandparents to come and see the classroom environment and meet teachers,” said Erinn Hicks, Grandparents Day chairwoman.

More than 350 grandparents and a few great-grandparents attended, marking the largest participation the school has seen in the event’s seven-year history.

“It’s so wonderful to see the grandparents get ushered in by the little ones,” Hicks said. “The rest of the day it’s just like we are walking on clouds.”

To start the day, grandparents munched a locally donated breakfast before heading into two 20-minute classroom sessions to participate in various age-specific activities.

Grandparents and kids worked together on art projects and “when I was a kid” worksheets. They talked about the differences between generations, Hicks said.

With 30 students and their guests, the classrooms were quite cozy, Principal Mary Jane Kelly said.

“It’s good community building with our grandparents,” Hicks said.

To finish the day, a raffle and awards ceremony celebrated the grandparents who traveled farthest. This year, a grandparent from Hungary took the out-of-state prize and a Davis grandparent took the in-state prize. Last year’s out-of-state winner came from India.

“That’s always fun because you get to find out who is from where,” said Millie Hensley, president of the Parent Teacher Association at Plum Canyon.

After meeting the teachers and seeing the campus, many local grandparents want to come back as members of the PTA, increasing membership and generating funds, Hensley said.

“We have a lot of grandparents that are volunteers in the classroom, and we encourage them to join (the PTA). They just want to come back and help,” Hensley said.

Local business Art Balena Photography generated funds for the school by taking pictures of the grandparent-grandchild pairs and sharing the proceeds.

“It’s a day to open up the schools to the grandparents,” Kelly said. “It’s part of the culture. It’s a great day.”

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