Warrenville Elementary welcomes its extended family to Grandparents Day
WARRENVILLE — The end of the school week was just a little bit sweeter Friday at Warrenville Elementary.
To celebrate Grandparents’ Day, nearly 300 grandparents shared cups of ice cream with their grandchildren in the school’s gym and cafeteria. It was a cool treat on a hot late summer day.
Principal Charlene Heard said the grandparents of about half the school’s student populations attend the popular event every year.
“Grandparents Day is an opportunity to show them truly how much we appreciate them,” she said. “They are an extension of our family – the Warrenville Elementary School family. They come in. They volunteer. They’re a vital part of our school.”
Angela Sapp of Beech Island said she came out Friday to support her “grandbaby,” Imani McArthur.
“I’m glad to be here at Warrenville Elementary,” she said. “This is my first year here, and I plan to come many more years.”
First-year Assistant Principal Patrick Newsome said he knows the importance of grandparents in children’s lives. His grandparents played important roles in his life, he said.
When Newsome was named Aiken County Public Schools’ 2017-18 Teacher of the Year, he said his grandfather, Franklin Wilson, inspired him to become an educator.
“Anytime we can get grandparents in the school and get them involved having a relationship with our students - that’s a powerful thing,” said Newsome, who taught math at LBC Middle before coming to Warrenville Elementary this year. “It’s awesome to have them here.”
During the ice cream social, Newsome hugged students and talked with grandparents and parents who packed the school for the event.
“I’ve heard the turnout has always been great here for Grandparents Day,” he said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed being at Warrenville. The community is so supportive. The students are great. I’ve had great experiences with every parent I’ve met. I’m really excited to be here.”
Newsome said he sometimes misses the classroom but added his new job offers other “fun” opportunities, too.
“I try to eat with one of the grade levels every day, so I still have get that interaction with the kids,” he said. “I love being in the school.”