FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Grandparents of Phillips Middle School students were invited to join their grandchildren for lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in honor of National Grandparents Day. Although the official day is to be observed on the first Sunday after Labor Day, Phillips Middle School celebrated in advance.
“The students were all smiles when they saw their grandparents come out to have lunch with them.” said Lisa Howell, Principal of Phillips Middle School. “I was impressed to see the numbers of grandparents we had visiting. This shows just how important our grandparents are to our students.”
Essie Milbourne, grandmother of a sixth-grade student, stated, “This has made me want to stay busy in our schools. My husband and I graduated from here. We’re true bulldogs and I’m honored to be back today.”
Shonnail Modley, a seventh-grader at Phillips Middle, was proud to have fun with her grandmother, Frances Ramsey, at lunch because her grandmother was able to meet her school friends. Ramsey was equally proud.
“Today makes me feel great. I came about an hour and a half in distance to get here and now I can’t wait to get to Coker-Wimberly Elementary School’s celebration.”
Not only did grandparents show up to show their love and support for their grandchildren, but other relatives came, as well. Lena Porter, a 1964 Phillips graduate, said, “My great niece asked me to come for Grandparents Day and I’m glad I did. This is my first time coming back to this school since graduation.”
Another seventh-grade student, Alayshia Brinson, was ecstatic to celebrate Grandparents Day with her cousin, Taylor Blue, and her grandmother, Mildred Smith. “I feel good about eating lunch with my grandmother and cousin at my school. They get to see what my day is like.” Smith actually came to the event last year and commented “I just had to come back.”
Angela Jones, Phillips Middle School counselor who organized and facilitated this event, said, “We are pleased about this opportunity to promote family in our school. We have a lot of grandparents who are caregivers for our students so we wanted to sit down, fellowship, and appreciate these people.”
Jones added, “We wanted the grandparents to know that we’re thinking about them, and we respect the important role they play in the lives of our students.”
Evelyn Powell joined her grandson Marquel Hudson, a sixth-grade student at Phillips Middle School. “I get to help out as a substitute here occasionally and that allows me to wear many hats being a sub, a grandparent, and a county commissioner,” expressed Powell. “I love to get involved with our schools. This is my alma mater and I am highly interested in our children’s education.”
Hudson jokingly replied, “Another plus about this day is that just maybe after I’ve finished enjoying lunch with my grandmother, she can take me home.”
President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. What a way to celebrate Grandparents Day by promoting participation and community involvement.