By Linda Collins
Fairborn Daily Herald
ENON — It was all smiles at Enon Primary School cafeteria on Friday, Sept. 9 as the school hosted a special Grandparents’ Day breakfast for kindergarten and first-grade students and their grandparents.
Enon Primary School Principal Darrin Knapke formally welcomed more than 500 grandparents who attended the two Grandparents’ Day celebrations at the school, which is located at 120 S. Xenia Drive.
As they entered the cafeteria, the proud students ran to greet and hug their grandmas and grandpas and then enjoyed a complimentary breakfast that included donuts, milk and coffee for the adults. The honored guests also received a specially crafted, keepsake picture from their grandchildren and after breakfast, had the opportunity to tour the students’ classrooms and meet their teachers.
According to Knapke, the grandparents’ response to the school’s invitation this year was so phenomenal that school officials had to divide the Grandparents’ Day celebration into two separate events, with the kindergarten students joining their special guests for breakfast at 9 a.m. and first-grade students attending the grandparents’ breakfast at 10 a.m.
“It was an honor to plan such a nice celebration that was enjoyed by so many grandparents,” Knapke said. “It is very important to have grandparents positively involved in school-related activities, and we appreciate their support. The least we can do is to show them our appreciation by hosting a breakfast in honor of National Grandparents’ Day.”
Knapke also pointed out that the breakfast gives students a chance to bond with their grandparents or special friends at school. Students who did not have a grandparent available were encouraged to invite a special person who they share a close relationship, such as an aunt, uncle, godparent or family friend.
Many of the grandparents who participated said it was a great way to spend their Friday morning.
“I think it is really great that the school hosted a breakfast for the grandparents and their grandkids. It is a nice way for us to interact with them and become more involved in their lives,” said Carol Snyder who attended the breakfast for first graders with her great-grandson, Ryan Davis.
The morning celebrations at the school were extra special for long-time Enon resident Paula Tipton and her mother, Joanne Wasson. The women first attended breakfast with kindergartener Noah Tipton, who is Tipton’s grandson and Wasson’s great-grandson, and then joined Tipton’s grandsons and Wasson’s great-grandsons Jarrod Tipton and Samuel Collins for breakfast with the first graders.
“I love being here spending time with my three grandsons; and then, to see the school staff serving donuts from Bill’s Donuts was a nice touch,” Tipton said. “It was nice meeting the teachers as well.”
“It is just fun being with my three great-grandsons, and they were so excited about having breakfast with us,” Wasson added. “The staff made us feel special too.”
All three boys’ maternal grandparents were on hand for the morning events as well. Springfield resident Marla Stouffer, who, along with her husband John, attended both the kindergarten and first-grade breakfasts with grandsons Noah and Jarrod, expressed her appreciation to school officials for honoring the students’ grandparents and providing them the opportunity to see the great things they are doing at the primary school.
“We had a wonderful time at the grandparents’ breakfast and enjoyed sharing Norah and Jarrod with Paula and Joanne as well. We really appreciated the time and effort the school staff took to put it together,” Stouffer said.
The campaign to set aside a special day for grandparents was initiated in 1970 by a West Virginia homemaker, Marian Lucille Herndon-McQuade. Eight years later in 1978, the United States Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents’ Day. The proclamation was then signed by President Jimmy Carter. This year, National Grandparents’ Day fell on Sunday, Sept.11.
“Grandparents play a unique and significant role in their grandkids’ lives and make many special contributions to our community,” Knapke said.
The principal noted that the school staff also recognizes the important connection between students and their parents and is planning two separate events for mothers and fathers later this school year.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.