Students at Walter M. Kennedy (WMK) Elementary School had some special guests last week.

First, students were encouraged to invite their grandparents to lunch on Monday or Tuesday to celebrate National Grandparents Day.

National Grandparents Day is the first Sunday after Labor Day and was established as a national holiday in 1978.

The purpose of National Grandparents Day is to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to “help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.”

WMK Principal Dr. Melissa Kelley said that inviting grandparents to lunch was a way their school chose to celebrate the holiday this year.

“There’s a large turnout [of grandparents] and the kids get really excited about it,” Dr. Kelley said.

Kindergarten, third, and fourth grades invited grandparents on Monday and first and second grade invited grandparents on Tuesday. First graders also had the opportunity to play board games after lunch with their grandparents, including Checkers, Sorry, and Chutes & Ladders. Kindergarteners made art and wrote poems for grandparents as well.

Dr. Kelley also said they had several “stand-in grandparents” for students that may not have a grandparent available.

“We have several retired teachers from across the system that volunteer,” Dr. Kelly stated. “This is a way they can still give back.”

Grandparents visited the school and ate lunch with their grandchild in the school cafeteria.

Another special guest visited WMK this week, Meteorologist James Spann from ABC 33/40. He spoke to third graders about the importance of safety during severe weather and encouraged them not to be afraid of storms and tornadoes, but to be prepared.

Spann also asked students if they all had weather radios in their homes, stating that people don’t always hear tornado sirens when there is a tornado warning. Spann showed students videos of lightning and tornadoes from across the state. Teachers and students presented Spann with a cookie cake to thank him for visiting their school.

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