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2024
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The event was well-attended, with more than 200 grandfriends coming together to enjoy pastries and fruit and join in conversation with students, as student London Sylvester and grandfriend Les Prether are pictured doing here. (Photo by Lauren "Chuck" Shows)

Grandfriends Day

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On Tuesday, Sept. 12, Mills Lawn Elementary School held the first iteration of what is sure to be a beloved annual tradition: Grandfriends Day.

An effort of Mills Lawn PTO, the event was inspired by National Grandparent Day but sought to be inclusive of relationships outside of family. Students invited their grandparents or anyone who serves a similar role — a family friend or neighbor, for example — to take a look inside their students’ classrooms and share a morning snack in the cafeteria.

The event was well-attended, with more than 200 grandfriends coming together to enjoy pastries and fruit and join in conversation with students, as student London Sylvester and grandfriend Les Prether are pictured doing above.

The event was spearheaded by PTO members Heather Ficke and Maggie Dean, who stressed the importance of connecting the schools with the wider community with events like Grandfriends Day and a first-week-of-school potluck held in August.

“We want to engage the community as well as the kids and the school family,” Fickle told the News. “[Grandfriends Day] is a way to celebrate intergenerational bonds and get people connected with the community.”

The Mills Lawn PTO welcomes volunteers from the community to help with its next undertaking: Directing parking behind Mills Lawn during Fall Street Fair on Saturday, Oct. 14. Street Fair parking is the PTO’s biggest annual fundraiser, and helps the nonprofit organization in funding community events like Grandfriends Day, as well as stipends for teachers’ classroom needs, school supplies for students in need, field trips, project-based learning materials and Black History Month education and programs, among other activities.

For more information about Mills Lawn PTO and how to get involved or donate, go to millslawnpto.com.

—Lauren “Chuck” Shows

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One Response to “Grandfriends Day”

  1. Be Useful says:

    This is a very good program idea. It not only allows a peak inside the classroom but also a glimpse of individuals a child may be getting close to. A list of all possible ‘grandfriends’ provided by the child would be useful, too! It would be interesting to see which candidate wins and understand why.

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