We all know that learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom. Families play an important role in a student’s life and can help foster a lifelong education. Extended families provide a unique foundation for support as well.
Barnhart School takes this concept to heart with their annual Grandparent’s Day. The event included breakfast, a choir concert and an opportunity for grandparents and grandparents-for-the-day to shadow their little ones and participate in educational activities.
Before playing God Bless America, the choir director, Lissie Quishenberry, encouraged the young and old alike to engage in conversation about what it was like to live in America when the older generation in the audience were in their youth. This type of conversation can really provide children with engaging stories and roots about their connectedness to their family and each other.
“Grandparents are the pillar of the family, a bridge of love from past to present, and into the future. Becoming a grandparent puts adults in the role of mentors to a new generation – guiding, giving and engaging young people to see the future and what they can become,” says Sean Brotherson, Ph.D., who teaches a class at North Dakota State University, called The Art of Grandparenting.
Dana Banks, who has two grandchildren in Barnhart School, has attended Grandparents Day for the past four years. “We went around the classrooms to explore what type of work the kids do. It’s really fun. It’s fun to share stories about my grandkids with the other grandfriends in the community that day too,” she said.
In addition to learning about what their grandchildren learn in school every day, Banks says it’s important for students to know that their parents and grandparents are supportive of them.
“It’s really important for them to know now and also to be able to look back someday and remember that grandmommy and granddaddy [were] interested. A strong family tie helps them mature and also lets them see that [we’re] here to help,” said Banks.
Banks adds,” I think it’s very important for the grandparents to stay involved in their grandkid’s life. I was happy when I was a little child that I had my grandparents…They were there for me.”
She encourages other grandparents to volunteer at schools that usually can use the additional help and to stay active in their family’s lives.
For more information on the Barnhart School you can visit www.barnhartschool.org. They are located at 240 W. Colorado Blvd. in Arcadia and can be reached by calling (626) 446-5588.