Area grandparents were invited to take part in their grandchildren’s school day when House Creek Elementary recognized Grandparents Day last Friday.
For several younger students, it was exciting to be able to share their day and lunch with their grandparents. For grandparents, the chance to spend time with their grandchildren was the highlight.
“I used to baby-sit him since he was a baby,” said Maria Martinez as she shared a school lunch of pizza with her grandson, Enzo Rodriguez, 3. “I miss him.”
Martinez met her friend and fellow grandmother, Dee Picacio, to enjoy some time with their grandsons on Friday.
“We love Grandparents Day,” said Picacio, who was eating with 4-year-old Noah Cisneros. “It’s an awesome thing to be here for our grandkids. To be included and not forgotten about.”
Other grandparents, such as Donna Ratliff, who had lunch with two of her grandchildren and her daughter, made a special trip from Burnet to be in Copperas Cove that day.
“I always try to be involved as much as I can,” she said.
Ratliff’s 6-year-old grandson, Braedon Corley, was happy to share his lunch time with his grandmother.
“She likes me and I like her. She’s beautiful,” said Braedon while eating his sandwich.
Martinez said getting to interact with her grandson’s pre-kindergarten class and watching the young children react to their environment was enjoyable.
“Everyone wanted us to be with them,” she said, referring to children whose grandparents weren’t able to make it that day. “They’re so innocent and lovable.”
This year’s recognition of Grandparents Day was expanded from last year, which was mostly focused on bringing family in to share lunch. Grandparents and other family members were welcomed into classrooms this year to take part in activities with their children and get a first-hand look at what they’re up to all day.
“This year we changed it up a little. We get them in the classrooms to actually see what’s going on,” said Kristy Barton, a counselor at House Creek Elementary.
Preparing for grandparents to visit and eat at the school required coordination both with teacher’s schedules and food servers planned preparation.
“We had to get the cafeteria ready to handle a larger number of people coming in,” said Barton.
Inclusion is the goal of keeping family involved with schooling at House Creek Elementary, which hosted a similar event last year, when it first opened.
“One of our focuses is to make sure all stakeholders in children’s lives are involved,” said Jodie Jost, assistant principal. “We want to have them included in the educational experience.”
Jost said parents and grandparents are welcome to visit the school or eat with their students at any time of the year.
“We want to have everyone involved in the kids’ education. It means a lot to families and children,” she said. “We want to build a strong sense of communication and community.”