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La Grange connects with families on Grandparents Day

Elementary students and grandparents each under a banner welcoming them to Grandparents Day.

If family members needed a reason to visit their students at La Grange Elementary, the school gave them one Friday when it hosted its first-ever Grandparents Day.

The event drew 245 guests for lunch in a cafeteria and classroom dressed in restaurant finery, from white tablecloths to floral centerpieces. Mixed in with the grandparents were moms and dads and great-grandmothers and aunts taking time to represent the family – some entering the school for the first time.

“Many of them said that,” principal Lorene Bell said, standing in a bustling cafeteria. “They were meeting me for the first time and complimenting us for doing this. We think it’s a success in that direction because we got them in here.”

Kindergarten student and his great-grandmother pose, sitting at lunch table with cafeteria trays in front of them. Weenonah Turner said she came because she was invited. “His grandmother’s working today, so I took her place,” she said. Beside her at the lunch table sat great-grandson Dawson Martin, a kindergartner and son of Kelly and Jamie Ingram of La Grange.

Fifth grader Jacob Leaser accounted for two guests – mom Christina Stahl of Kinston and grandmother Sue Jarman of  Kinston, both of whom were eating lunch at the school for the first time. Friday’s lunch was better than usual, Jacob said. “I got to spend time with my family.”

Bell expects to host more family-oriented events during the school day this year.

 “We are trying to connect more with the community,” she said. “We thought if we could start with grandparents and bring them in, then we could get a movement going. Next, we’re going to do something for moms, then we’re going to do something for dads. One of our focuses this year is school and community.”