Grandparents flock to school in annual visit to classrooms
Third-grader Maggie Derzinski sat at her desk at Tonganoxie Elementary School working on her lessons last Friday, just like she does on any school day. But when she needed to ask a question this day, she didn't raise her hand and look for her teacher.
She simply looked to her left toward her great-aunt, Ruth Wheatley, and her great-grandmother, Margaret Pryor.
Wheatley and Pryor were two of about 300 grandparents and grandparent-fill-ins who visited school last Friday as participants in Grandparents' Day.
Wheatley, who lives in Ridge Hill, Mo., left home at 6:30 a.m. to get to school on time. And Pryor, 80, who lives in Metz, Mo., also made the journey her first time to celebrate Grandparents' Day at Tonganoxie Elementary. She said the trip was well worth the time and effort.
"I think it makes the kids feel important," Pryor said.
"It's really fun and I like it a lot because we just get to visit with our grandparents," she said. "It's really a special time."
Nearby, another student in the third-grade classroom was Clint Korb, accompanied by his great-grandparents, Lawrence and Margaret Botkin, Tonganoxie.
Clint said Grandparents' Day is one of his favorite school days each year.
"I get to spend a couple of hours with my great-grandparents and it's really fun," Clint said.
"It's nice to see what your grandchildren are learning in this day and age," said Botkin.
Principal Jerry Daskoski said Grandparents' Day is a long-time tradition at TES.
"I've been here for 10 years and it started prior to my time," he said.
The event seemed to be growing each year, he noted.
"Last year we had some of the grandparents say the closest place they found to park was downtown by the bank."
Kindergarten teacher Denise Smith said her favorite part about having Grandparents' Day at school is watching the children.
"The neatest thing is watching a child's face light up when the grandparents come in the door," Smith said. "It's so neat to see, because there is a special bond between children and their grandparents."