It’s deja vu for grandparents at Northside

Published 9:54 pm Friday, November 21, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The gym at Northside Child Development Center was filled with grandparents during the afternoon session of the school's Grandparent Day on Thursday.
A musical program, during which the pre-elementary school students sang and performed to the tunes of the "The Chicken Dance, "Itsy Bitsy Spider, "Head Shoulder Knees and Toes," as well as a few other songs commonly sung by children, was well received by the grandparents.
They were generous with their applause.
To ensure the students didn't forget what moves went with each song, some of the school's teachers sat in front of the children and guided them during the performance.
After the performance the students went back to their classrooms to spend time with their grandparents.
Joyce Ellen, and Darrell and Trudy Mackey, sat on small chairs around a small table in a classroom with their granddaughter, Rachel Mackey.
But Grandparent Day is about more than just sitting around a table talking.
On Thursday, the children and their grandparents made chocolate turkeys and put their hand print on a piece of paper that had a poem written on it.
The grandparents also had the opportunity to have their picture taken with their grandchild.
The picture was put in a pre-made picture frame that the grandparents could take home along with the other things they made in the classrooms.
Trudy Mackey said Grandparent Day is a good way for grandparents to interact with the children and find out what they are doing at school.
But she also thinks Grandparent Day is important for the children.
Cindy Wickham, Northside's principal, said Grandparent Day is an annual tradition.
Kindergarten students have their Grandparent Day in spring, she said.
Wickham said there were 120 people at Thursday's morning session and approximately 90 during the afternoon session.
The children who have grandparents who live too far away to be able to attend, or who have grandparents that are no longer alive, were taken care of by the teachers.
Wickham said the teachers sometimes become "substitute grandparents."
She thinks Grandparent Day is a great opportunity for the grandparents to see what their grandchildren are doing at school.