Mitchell Ele­men­tary hosts grand­par­ents, spe­cial peo­ple at event

Se­cond an­nual event brings stu­dents, el­ders to­gether to learn from each other

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @JamieACIndyNews

Teach­ing and learn­ing be­tween gen­er­a­tions was the theme of Wal­ter J. Mitchell Ele­men­tary’s se­cond an­nual Grand­par­ents/Spe­cial Per­sons Day.

“I think it’s won­der­ful, not only for the grand­par­ents, but for our spe­cial visi­tors as well,” Mitchell Prin­ci­pal Sab­rina Robin­son-Tay­lor said dur­ing the Nov. 22 event. “The stu­dents were just bub­bling with ex­cite­ment this morn­ing.”

Last year, the event was known as Grand­par­ents Day, but the school de­cided to open it up for other visi­tors as well, Robin­son-Tay­lor said.

“We re­al­ized that some stu­dents aren’t for­tu­nate enough to have liv­ing grand­par­ents, or their grand­par­ents live far away, so we ex­tended it … to other fam­ily mem­bers,” she said.

The event was di­vided into a one-hour ses­sion for guests of older stu­dents in the morn­ing and a se­cond one-hour ses­sion for guests of younger stu­dents in the af­ter­noon, Robin­son-Tay- lor said.

She said 532 grand­par­ents and oth­ers at­tended last week’s event, and the visi­tors were in­cor­po­rated into the les­son plans for the day.

“Within some of the classes in the morn­ing, they spoke about the dif­fer­ences in school life back years ago com­pared with school life to­day. So it’s ben­e­fi­cial on both ends. Grand­par­ents are hear­ing about ClassDojo and SmartBoard and all this ter­mi­nol­ogy they may not know, they’re be­ing in­tro­duced to, and then the kids are be­ing in­tro­duced to one-room school­houses, and class­rooms be­ing heated by a fur­nace, and things [of] that na­ture, mul­ti­ple grades in one room, so they are be­ing im­mersed in what school was like years ago, so they’re real- ly learn­ing from each other,” Robin­son-Tay­lor said.

In ad­di­tion, a few guests were ac­com­pa­nied by ser­vice dogs.

“Many of our stu­dents haven’t seen ser­vice dogs be­fore,” Robin­son-Tay­lor said. “So that be­came a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as well.”

She said hav­ing grand­par­ents and other fam­ily mem­bers in the school helps strengthen the bond be­tween the school and the com­mu­nity.

“We want our families to feel like they’re a part of school life,” the prin­ci­pal said. “We want it to have that open schoolhouse feel, be­cause we still are very much a com­mu­nity.”

Did­tra Lynch at­tended the Mitchell event to spend time with her grand­daugh­ter, Mi­lan Wilt, a kinder­garten stu­dent.

“For me, it was im­por­tant for her to know that her grand­mother is sup­port­ing her in her ed­u­ca­tion and that I’m there for her,” Lynch said.

Mi­lan said the best part of hav­ing her grand­mother in school was that she got to play with her.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

Debbie and Bill Man­cuso watch as their grand­son, kinder­gart­ner Ca­son Specht, works on a coloring as­sign­ment at Wal­ter J. Mitchell’s se­cond an­nual Grand­par­ents/Spe­cial Per­sons Day Nov. 22.

Wal­ter J. Mitchell Ele­men­tary School Prin­ci­pal Sab­rina Robin­son-Tay­lor takes pho­tos as kinder­garten stu­dents work on as­sign­ments with grand­par­ents and oth­ers.

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