The tradition of Grandparent Tea started 21 years ago in Saundra Wimberley’s class. The other classes at Frenship followed suit when they saw what a happy event it was, and how it tied the grandparents into the lives of the school. At Crestview Elementary, first grade participates every year under the guidance of Wimberley. This year, pre-k students at Legacy Elementary got involved.
The students entertain the grandparent visitors with a few songs, rhymes and poems, play games such as Grandparent Bingo, and then have a few treats in the style of a “tea.” They present paper flowers or other gifts they’ve made for their guest. Prizes for games include toys or games the grandparents know about and can teach children to play with, such as Silly Putty, Marbles, and tic-tac-toe and checker games.
The classes do this event to honor the grandparents and older adults in their lives at a time close to the national holiday, Grandparents Day, the second Sunday in September.
Another reason for inviting the grandparents for tea is to involve them in the lives of their students. “School is a bonding place, where grandparents can share stories of their own youth and school days, and then be able to discuss with their grandchildren about Crestview – the place, new friends this year, the surroundings, events, and the whole wonderful experience of elementary school,” said Wimberley.
At Crestview most students have at least one grandparent, great-grand parent, older aunt, uncle or friend attending the tea date. For those whose grandparents are too far or unavailable, the teachers seek out special ‘grandparent-type’ people to invite. For example, Wimberley asks Coach Karen Conder, a retired Crestview PE coach, and her husband, also “Coach Conder” to join in. They never had children of their own but love visiting and being with children.
“They offered such a positive and interactive addition to that class tea,” said Wimberley. “They were so happy to get the grandparents, and a few other older relatives and friends, in for a nice time with the students. The students and grandparents alike smiled from ear to ear throughout the whole event!”