By Briana Bizier
The classes at Raymond Elementary School looked a little
different last Friday as approximately 300 grandparents and grand-friends
joined students for a day of collaboration and celebration.
|Students working on their texture murals during the celebration|
a long-standing tradition at Raymond Elementary School, offers families a
unique chance to participate in their young children’s education and to have
some fun at the same time.
schools have a grandparent’s celebration,” explained Beth Peavey, Assistant
Principal at RES. “However, the way we do it is unique because our
grandparent’s celebration runs throughout the day.”
keep the school and parking lot from being overwhelmed with grandparents and
grand-friends, different grade levels host their grandparents at different
times of the day with the younger classes hosting their guests earlier in the
grandparents and friends first arrived at the elementary
school on Friday morning, they were escorted to the gym and treated to coffee
and donuts, which were generously donated by the Good Life Market and the
Village Donut Shop. The guests also received an exclusive early screening of
the iMovies RES classes have created in collaboration with students from Jordan
Small Middle School. The iMovies will premier June 7 at Jordan Small Middle
School’s annual awards ceremony The Raymonds.
of their grandchildren
’s grade level, all grandparents and grand-friends
had the opportunity to share lunch with their child, to visit their child’s
classroom, and to join their child either at recess or for a trip to one of
this journalist’s favorite elementary school activities: the Scholastic Book
Fair. While not a required part of Grandparent’s Day, the book fair is an
important source of fundraising for RES. Revenue from the fair is used to
support everything from field trips to art supplies.
|Sage Bizier and grand-friend Brian McCowan |
at the Scholastic Book Fair
really loved the book fair,” said Sage Bizier, a third grader at RES, as she
proudly displayed her “Guide the
Spookiest Places in the World”
, a gift from her visiting grand-friends
Brian and Patsy McCowan of Lunenburg, Massachusetts.
grandparents and grand-friends of first graders at RES were treated to a
special performance of poems and songs. Gathering to perform poetry and music
is a monthly tradition for the first-grade classes at RES. This Friday, their
May poetry and songs were also incorporated into the first grade
Grandparent’s Day celebration.
’s third grade classroom, Sage and her classmates painted
seashells with their grandparents and grand-friends. These shells will later be
decorated with positive messages and then hidden around the school for younger
students to find. The third graders also had a chance to share their recent
academic work with their grandparents. Student Ayden Strom logged on to a
classroom computer to read his “twisted fairy tale,” a traditional fairy tale
with a unique twist, to his grandparents.
chose the three little pigs,” Strom explained, “but, instead of pigs, I wrote
about three little otters. Otters are my favorite animal.”
creative work was also a highlight for visitors to Mrs. Pelletier
second grade classroom. Grandparents and grand-friends with students in second
grade were treated to a poetry reading where the second graders shared their
original work. The children and their grandparents then collaborated to write
their own poems and, finally, they participated in an engineering exercise.
Each team of children and grandparents was given a paper plate, water, and
biodegradable packing peanuts and then challenged to build the tallest tower possible
in eight minutes. The biodegradable peanuts stick together with water, although
there were some complications. “When the packing peanuts get wet, they
compress,” Pelletier explained. “So, some teams used a lot of water and then
found their towers getting smaller and smaller!”
course, not every child has grandparents or grand-friends who were able to
attend on Friday.
“If students don’t have grandparents coming to visit,
they are usually ‘adopted’ by another visitor,” Peavey explained, describing
how visiting grandparents often spend time with several of their children’s
classmates during the course of the day. My RES insider Sage Bizier reported
that she was happily “adopted” by visiting grandparents last year when her
family was unable to make the trek to Raymond. RES staff and volunteers also
visit the classrooms during Grandparent’s Day to offer extra support to any
students who may be feeling left out of the fun.
first and second grade teachers Mrs. Doyle and Mrs. Vangelist, Grandparent
Day was also the perfect time for their students to work on a large,
collaborative art project. The first and second grades are currently completing
a combined author study focusing on the imaginative work of Eric Carle. After
their grandparents had departed, the first and second graders ended their
Friday by working together to create a mural using unconventional artistic
tools like brooms, cups, and balls to add paint and texture to a red and orange
background. The students will later create their own animals to display on the
Day is a great chance for students to connect to their grandparents,” Peavey
said. “It’s also a chance for the grandparents to see their grandchild’s
school. Grandparents don’t always have that opportunity.
the children are always really excited,” Mrs. Peavey concluded. “They all come
to school saying, ‘Yay, my grandparents are coming today!’”