Retired teacher Jane Summerlin not only got to visit her granddaughter Lily, an L.J. Bell first grader, at school this week. She also got some fond memories.
Summerlin, a retired teacher participated in the school’s Grandparents Week Tuesday, visiting her granddaughter’s classroom and sticking around for lunch.
“This is my first year coming to Grandparents Day, but I taught school in Union County so this has really given me an opportunity to take a trip down memory lane,” she explained. “The children are doing so many great things, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing how much some things have changed.”
She’s not the only one with memories, though.
“I really loved getting to eat my lunch with her,” Lily said.
L.J. Bell Principal Bobbie Sue Ormsby explained the school has celebrated Grandparents Week for more than two decades, and it’s something students’ families enjoy.
“We’ve been doing this for 25 years, and our families just love it,” Ormsby said. “The grandparents are so excited, they begin calling at the beginning of the year to find out when we will have it. They get to visit our classrooms, eat lunch with us, and just have a great time. Many of them come more than once during the week with all of their grandchildren. So many have shared with us that this is the highlight of their year.”
Tammy Lambert is one of the first grade teachers at L.J. Bell, and coordinates the Grandparent Week activities the entire school.
“We have a great time pulling everything together - badges, decorations, slide shows, everything to make this a wonderful experience for these students and their grandparents,” Lambert said. “It’s such a great opportunity for us to show them how much the students have progressed throughout the school year.”
Bernadette Ingram, grandmother of first grader Lyric Ingram, agreed.
“This is my second year coming. It’s amazing to watch how they mature through the years,” she said.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. The teachers are great to work with,” Bishop McDonald, grandfather of first grader Zion McDonald and pastor of a local church, said “The students showed us the items that they made for all of the grandparents, and I was really impressed. It is just another way for them to show us how much they love us.”
L.J. Bell first grade teacher Jennifer Carraway said that if there is a downside to the activities, it’s when some of the children feel disappointment because their grandparents can’t attend. She said teachers and their assistants give extra support to those students, and some of the other grandparents also reach out to them to make sure they can participate.
“We made a special book for the grandparents, and came up with a cheer and a song,” Carraway said. “I really enjoy watching the children interact with them - they get so excited and it really makes us all feel good.”