Grandparents Coffee Break

Grandma Kc wrote this on September 15th, 2015 32 Replies

It was a wonderful day! For years now, I have wanted to organize a Grandparents event for Amara’s school but I never remembered until it was too late to make it happen. I have also wanted to get other grandparents involved in volunteering by sharing with them how much fun I’ve been having. This year I planned ahead! With the help of some amazing volunteers the Santiago PTA hosted their first ever Grandparents Coffee Break in honor of National Grandparents Day!

The plan was to serve coffee and tea and have a dessert bar filled with lots of different yummies all donated by parents! Lots of them homemade, too! I was so worried that we wouldn’t have enough treats. Of course I was equally as worried that no one would show up. Boy was I wrong!

Of course, since nothing can ever go off exactly as planned our morning did start with a bit of a glitch. We had told everyone to drop their desserts off in the Media Center during drop off or any time before noon. Jenna and I got to school around 7:15 and walked in to find that it wasn’t set up for our event – it was set up for testing! We both looked at each other and panicked for a minute. OK, I panicked more than she did! Breathe, the testing would be done at 11:30 and we would still have time to get it all set up!

Talk about teamwork! We got all the tables moved around and table clothes on; little jelly jars were filled with either Skittle or M&Ms and a bouquet of suckers (Mo’s idea!); coffee was brewed and the desserts were displayed to look amazing – and we had time to spare! Such a great bunch of Moms.

Because we knew we would have many Spanish-speaking grandparents attending, I recruited two bi-lingual volunteers to greet them at the door and to help with any translating. One of them actually worked as our translator for all the speakers. Next time we use microphones but that was about our only problem!

And we only needed a microphone because we had so many guests! I was just thrilled when at 12:45 people started arriving! I had created a slideshow of about 900 photos that I had taken over the years. I included a few of grandparents who I knew would be there – how fun to see your picture on the big screen on the stage. The grandparents loved it and you could hear them share with others, “That’s my grandchild!” By the time the guests had all arrived, we had a small house full. I was so happy!

Grandparents Coffee Break

All Photos Courtesy of Jenna

Jenna stated the event by wishing all the grandparents a Happy Grandparents Day and talking about the importance of grandparents in children’s lives. She told them about when she was young she had to walk the block to her Grandma’s apartment after school and wait for her Dad or me to pick her up. Grandma made her do her homework. She knows how important Grandmas are! I think she made all of the grandparents there feel important and special.

I also had the idea of having a couple of 8th graders talk about what it has been like to go to Santiago since Kindergarten. We had 3 girls tell about their own lives at the school and about how the school has grown and changed. Again, the grandparents really enjoyed it!

We had a great talk by the school’s new Principal – who everyone loves! He shared some slides and told of his own journey through school and some of his plans for Santiago. It was great insight for the grandparents who don’t always hear everything that parent’s hear!

Then I got to talk! I really wanted these grandparents to understand just how much fun it is to volunteer! I shared with them some of the fun things I got to do last year. Who doesn’t want to dress up as the Cat in the Hat or the Book Fair-ie? I told them how much fun it is to be armed with a squirt bottle during Jog-a-thon or to sell fruit pops on Fridays. I admitted – I just pick the fun jobs!

Jenna ended it all by thanking them all for coming and encouraging them to volunteer! But before they could go they needed to get one the to-go boxes we had and fill it with left over desserts! The grandparents all thanked us as they left. We had really made them feel special. They were so impressed that we had done all of this for them. It was the perfect way to end the party!

I’ve got lots of new ideas for next year!

32 thoughts on “Grandparents Coffee Break

  1. Launna

    Oh Kc, this was awesome…my own grandmother was so very important to me. She was our refuge when things were so tough with our step mom. She would have loved something like this and she would have deserved to be honored like this. I’m so happy the grandparents had an amazing time. I can’t wait to hear about next year xo. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thank you for your kind words. It truly was an amazing day! I really do want to do it again next year and I bet the turnout will be even better. Word of mouth and social media — people will want to go!

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I really think that even if none of them ever volunteer we really built some community spirit and made all of the feel welcome. One teacher told us she had 2 sets of grandparents come to her classroom afterwards and they had never been there before – so that was a good thing!

      Reply
  2. Joyce

    Amazing! Seriously, Kc, you are going to revolutionize the system of volunteers in schools! There are so many available grandparents and so much need for them. Up until now, no one seemed to put the two together. If anyone can accomplish that, it will be you!
    I love your photos and the agenda and the joy you brought to so many people today.
    I’m planning on being a grandma volunteer too!
    Best wishes for continued success!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I can’t wait to see what you pull off as a volunteer because you are amazing as a grandmother and Craft Queen! You will have so much fun!

      Reply
  3. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    You did an amazing thing for all the grandparents at Amara’s school. Grandparents are very important – they are these children’s past and these special children are their future. In some instances, grandparents may not be included and you made a point to include them all. Here’s to a lot more fun activities for all the family generations. You did good, Grandma Kc. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      It was an amazing day and I do think all the grandparents felt the love. The language barrier is the biggest obstacle for me and I think having translators there really did make everyone feel more welcome.They knew we wanted them to feel included. Hopefully some of them will even get involved!

      Reply
  4. Vicki Valenta

    What a great idea! I always try to go to the Grandparents Day events at the girls’ schools. I love the way you set this one up. I’ve never seen one like it. Mostly we get invited to eat lunch with the kids. I’d love to hear from some of the kids and from the school administration. Awesome job.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      When Amara was in preschool that did a Grandparents Day where the grandparents have lunch with the students. With almost 1300 students that would not have been feasible but I think this worked out really well. I would have loved to involve more students but it just wasn’t practical! We are doing Donuts with Dads for the next book fair — I’m anxious to see what the turnout will be!

      Reply
  5. Sandy Siegel

    I know how hard you worked on this & I’m so happy it was a huge success! Congratulations to you & Jenna & all the people who volunteered! Wish you could have been here for it!

    Reply
  6. Debra

    The transition to grandparent-hood sounds delightful as you describe your experiences. My grand daughter is 3 and just started a tumbling class. I so wanted to go to the gym, but my daughter said the instructors have asked that parents/grandparents not be in the gym while they work with the toddlers. There’s a room with a mirror- the kids can been seen but they can’t see in where we can stand and watch. In a couple of weeks there will be a program where we can actually sit in the gym and watch the toddlers show off what they have learned. I will so be there!

    Thanks for sharing your and Jenna’s grandparents day event- it was a pleasure to read!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Being a Grandma really is the best job I ever had and more fun than I ever imagined it would be. It has made me see my own grandparents through different eyes, too! I always knew how special they were to me but I had no idea I was so special to them. You have so much fun to look forward to with your granddaughter. There are times I wish we could go back and have little Amara again — but I sure love the person she is growing up to be and I am so glad we are close by to enjoy it all.

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thanks Deb! I hope it is something we can build — a team of grandparent volunteers! Someday Amara will change schools and we need people to hand these traditions off to.

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      The office has asked Jenna more than once if she didn’t want to have more kids so that they could keep her! It is a great school!

      Reply
  7. Lisa at Grandma's Briefs

    Fantastic!! I’m so happy your hard work was well worth it and you had an incredible turnout! Congratulations! I can’t wait to hear about all the grandparents who clamor to cover events and activities, all thanks to you! You’re incredible!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Well I won’t say they are clamoring — yet — but we did get 3 new volunteers and a lot of good will that I think we can really build on. I really was happy with the results!

      Reply
  8. Stephanie Faris

    What a great experience for everyone!!! Your snafu reminded me of my job as multimedia coordinator for the Department of Health. We had these people who would do testing in one of our two hearing rooms–it was testing that involved microscopes for some reason. They were very arrogant and annoying. One day I went down to set up laptops and they’d put their microscopes in the bigger room when they’d reserved the smaller room. I told them they couldn’t just switch rooms and they argued that they should have first pick since they’d gotten there first. They ended up getting their way because the microscopes were already set up and it would have been a pain to move them, but I, fortunately, resigned before the next time they arrived to pull that little trick.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I don’t mean to get up on my soapbox here but it just seems wrong that so much testing is going on the very first month of school anyway. California had the new common core standards which seems to equate to a lot of extra testing. 50 question test of kindergartners? Testing does have to come first but it sure made our morning stressful.

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I really hope next year we can have a class sing or something, too. This year was a first and I think since we showed it worked we can expand on it! I watched your students signing Amazing Grace. I assumed that was you leading them? It was beautiful and I cried! Thank you for sharing it with me.

      Reply
  9. Teresa

    Grandparent volunteers are special and Amara and her school are certainly lucky to have you and your daughter! The Grandparents Coffee Break was a great idea!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thanks Teresa! When my daughter was growing up I worked very long hours and couldn’t volunteer. Grandparents are often retired like me and have lots of time and energy to share. The kids do love it. I hope the Grandparents Coffee Break tradition will continue to grow each year and maybe even spread to other schools.

      Reply

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