Hagersville Elementary School has a long standing tradition of hosting a grandparents and friends’ tea event each spring, increasing family involvement in students’ learning and celebrating special, multigenerational bonds.
“For more than 13 years, staff members have brought in homemade cookies, breads, and squares for these very special guests, and this year’s event was nothing short of amazing,” said Colleen Kelly, Principal at Hagersville Elementary School. “The day also provides the opportunity for grandparents to visit their grandchild’s classroom, and enhances their connection to the school community, which benefits everyone.”
The event, which happened on April 5, opened with a student entourage to welcome the V.I.P.s and lead them on a tour to their special young people’s classrooms. The grandparents then took part in organized classroom games that gave them an insight into the Province’s curriculum, and allowed them to participate and contribute to students’ learning through a variety of activities.
One student, whose grandparent couldn’t make the event, invited a special neighbour to take part. The Grade 7 student had gotten to know their neighbour better throughout the year by helping with yard work and snow shovelling, so the chance to extend the invitation to the event was a great opportunity for them to be welcomed by the school community.
“I got to know my neighbour better when we wrote some poetry together,” explained the student. “She’s really good at poetry!”
While the guests relaxed in the gymnasium, they enjoyed a showcase of talent including some rock-and-rolling kindergarten students, a special grandparents poem, and two stellar speeches. The guests even got a preview of the upcoming school musical, OZ!
“In every classroom, mutual pride and love was evident between the students and their special guests,” said Kelly. “The Grandparents and Special Friends’ Tea reaches beyond the immediate families who participate in school life, and seeks to create a wider community of supporters for students.”
The annual event is seen by staff as a tradition rooted in love and dedication for the benefit of the school community, in step with Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan which aims to foster and celebrate inclusive school communities which enhance the learning experiences of all students.