Grandparents Day cements bond between young and old alike |

Grandparents Day cements bond between young and old alike

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

Students at Hugh Gallagher Elementary School in Virginia City were asked to make signs that defined grandparents.

“Grandparents are your parents’ parents.”

“A grandparent is someone who watches you.”

“Grandparents don’t make you do homework.”

“Grandparents are people that love you.”

Believing the bond between grandparents and young children was a valuable one, first-year Principal Michele VanVoorst and her students hosted 79 grandparents at school Tuesday for National Grandparents Day.

Grandparents, along with aunts, uncles and parents for children who didn’t have grandparents nearby, spent the day lunching with the students, participating in sing-alongs and working on a special art project.

The other special notice taken on Tuesday was not ignored either, as grandparents and students rose to say the Pledge of Allegiance before each lunch period in honor of the victims of 9/11.

The lunches were held by grade, with kindergartners and first-graders first, followed by second- and third-graders, then fourth- and fifth-graders, all with proud grandparents following behind.

Dee Pearson and Adrienne Parsons were on hand to visit with their grandchild, first-grader Evan Parsons, 6. They were delighted with the grandparents day event.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Pearson said. “And yes, we (grandparents) do have eyes in the back of our heads.”

Pearson acknowledged that there was a special bond between grandparents and children, especially, she said, with so many grandparents raising their grandchildren these days.

“They say we are patient, but we’re really experienced,” she said. “We’ve already done this once.”

The two met 30 years ago when they built their Virginia City homes at the same time. Later Parsons’ son Chris, now a Storey County Sheriff’s deputy, married Pearson’s daughter, Michelle, and the families have remained close.

The older students acted as tour guides, taking grandparents to the correct rooms.

Joan Petrini was here with her grand-nephews, sitting in for their grandparents, who were out of town.

“It’s good for the kids and it’s good for the grandparents,” she said.

Joe Curtis, Storey County Emergency Management Director, who has two grandchildren at the school, said the event was important to help grandparents understand what their grandchildren do.

“Especially those who don’t live right next door to each other,” he said.

Kollin Gambrel, 8, brought his grandfather, Jim Allander, to the school. Kollin said he lives in both Silver City and Virginia City, and made sure to bring double the lunch to share with his grandpa.

“I get to show my grandfather my school,” he said.

Kindergartner Quinten Webster was working on the art project with his grandmother, Lynnette Board of the Virginia City Highlands, gluing red glitter on their hand tracings and topping it off with a glitter heart.

“This is pretty fun,” he said.

“Yes, and we had a nice lunch, too,” Board added.

Grandparents also watched the little ones play at recess, but none joined in the kickball game.

“My kickball days are over,” said grandmother Rita Lumos, who praised VanVoorst for coming up with the idea. “We are so lucky to have her.”

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.