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!
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!