When the first Grandparents’ Day was held at the old Lee-Jackson Primary School, its organizers didn’t expect much. But when proud grandparents packed the school’s tiny cafeteria, principal Aaron Wilburn and the rest of his staff soon knew they were on to something.
Twenty years later, the event has remained a popular way for the school to open its doors to the community.
"It was just a huge success, and it continues to be today," said Nelda Gibbs, who was a teacher’s assistant 20 years ago and is now food services coordinator for Mathews County Public Schools. "It’s really a fun day for everybody."
In the most recent Grandparents’ Day—which was actually held over two days, March 30 and 31—between 400 and 500 grandparents and others enjoyed lunch with the students, served up by the cafeteria staff, Gibbs said.
"I love to get the community involved in our schools," Gibbs said. "That is the best part of Grandparents’ Day."
Putting on this event—and feeding the children every day—involves a lot of hard work, from the ladies in the cafeteria to helping hands of custodians, the maintenance department and the support of administration. "We all work as a team and that is the key to success," Gibbs said.
This cooperation has allowed Gibbs to keep cost to students (and their parents) low, while still providing nutritious meals. "Families are struggling and I want to keep the cost of our lunches as low as possible," Gibbs said.