The fellowship hall at Unity Baptist Church was bursting with pride Thursday afternoon.
That’s what happens when there’s a room full of grandparents.
Poage Elementary teachers Betsy Moore and Megan Woods invited the grandparents of their students to an appreciation day with all the trimmings, including hot dogs and fixins.
The food line snaked through the church gymnasium, grandparents with their grandchildren in tow.
“This is probably my favorite day of the year,” said Moore, looking over the three dozen or so grandparents sitting with their grandchildren. “I think the grandparents take a big role in the students’ lives. Some of them are guardians and a lot are caretakers after school.”
Grandparents always have played an important role, but these days it is amplified, said Poage Principal Bob Blankenship.
“It takes more than just parents with today’s economy and the demands that are out there,” he said. “It’s tough for those who live away from their parents. We see a lot of grandparents picking them up after school because the parents are working.”
Moore said it was important to let the grandparents know they are appreciated for all they do.
“I didn’t have grandparents growing up, but I can see what a great need they fill,” she said. “They’re special to these children.”
The children were all giggly going through the hot dog line with grandpa and grandma.
“Sure, you can have two brownies,” said one grandmother.
The little girl gave her a smile that was sure to melt the grandmother’s heart.
“This might be the biggest number of spoiled kids in one room,” joked Blankenship.
Grandparents gladly posed for photos and gulped down the meal.
Moore has been having the Grandparent Appreciation Day for the past dozen years that she has been a kindergarten teacher.
“I think grandparents have so much wisdom to impart,” she said.
This year, a parent of one of Moore’s former students showed up as a grandparent.
“That makes me feel a little bit old,” she said.
Blankenship said the appreciation day is well worth the effort.
“These teachers did a great thing in putting this together. We appreciate them, too.”
MARK MAYNARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2648.