Grandparents come from near and far for special day
Kappy Bickel wishes Arizona would take a cue from some Kansas schools and have a Grandparents Day.
Bickel and her husband, Roger Bickel, traveled from Yuma, Ariz., to participate in Grandparents Day festivities Friday at Genesis Christian Academy.
“I came last year and had to come again this year,” she said.
The previous year, Kappy came to see her grandson, Jacob Howell, at GCA and this year Roger, whose birthday was Friday, was able to make the trip as well.
Asked what he thought of his grandparents making the big trip from Arizona for Grandparents Day, Jacob, who is a first-grader, said “it’s fun” as he munched on M&M’s that were used as part of an activity.
Other grandparents didn’t have to travel quite as far for the event.
Don Harbour and his wife, Jan, were visiting granddaughter Mary Harbour. The Harbours live in Tonganoxie.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Don Harbour said. “We have a good time and we get to see what the kids are doing.”
Grandparents of preschool through eighth-grade students on Friday were at GCA, with some stopping by Thursday.
Administrator and preschool director Sharon Beeman estimated about 200 grandparents attended the event, noting it’s been a well-attended day in the past.
Beeman said the school always tries to lock in a fall date for Grandparents Day before the previous school year ends to give grandparents ample time to plan for the weekend if they’re coming from far away. One couple told Beeman they left their home at 5:30 a.m. to make it for Grandparents Day.
For students whose grandparents can’t attend or do not have grandparents, “volunteer” grandparents came to GCA to be with those students for the day.
Grandparents Day coincides with the school’s book fair fundraiser, which Beeman said was a “great combination.”
As for Kappy Bickel continuing the tradition of traveling from Arizona for Grandparents Day, she said she and her husband plan to return in 2010.
“I mean, how can we not?” she asked with a smile.
Tonganoxie elementary and middle schools also had activities for their Grandparents Day celebrations Sept. 10.
TES principal Tammie George said about 660 grandparents signed in at the school that day, while about 320 grandparents and other family members were at the middle school’s celebration.
At TMS, grandparents gathered in the commons area for fresh fruit, muffins, juice and coffee as classical music played in the background. TMS sixth-graders designed placemats for the occasion. Grandparents and guests participated in classroom activities, and then later in the morning, students escorted their guests back to the commons area and presented them with stemmed carnations.