SCHOOLS: SHEPARD BOULEVARD ELEMENTARY
By NATALIE DEVLIN
Shepard Boulevard Elementary School was fuller than usual on Friday, April 8. It was the annual Grandparents’ Day.
Grandparents from all over the country, and a few from even farther, came to Shepard to spend the day with their grandchildren and learn a little about the school.
“Things have changed so much since I’ve been in school,” said David Clevenger who, with his wife, Teresa, traveled from Green Ridge, southwest of Sedalia, to spend the day with their grandson Josh Pringle, 9.
This was is their first time coming to Grandparents’ Day.
“He’s tried to get us up here before, but there’s always been something,” David Clevenger said.
During Grandparents’ Day, the grandparents spend time in the classroom with the students. Then, they all go into the auditorium for an assembly at which the school choir sings and Principal JoNetta Weaver explains the importance of the day.
Weaver said her grandparents were important to her while she was growing up. They even lived with her for a while. Now she has two grandchildren of her own, one of whom was born a few weeks ago.
“Know that your presence here today means a lot to me but means even more to those children sitting on your laps,” Weaver told the crowd.
Weaver also described the Leader in Me program at Shepard. Students are taught they are leaders and can make a difference in the world.
The students also learn leadership skills in the classrooms. “That will serve them just as well as all of the math and all of the reading and all of the science and all of the social studies,” Weaver told the grandparents.
This was the first Grandparents’ Day for Jim and Connie Loveless; their grandson, Grant Mueller, 6, is in kindergarten. The Lovelesses are from Columbia and when asked whether they spend a lot of time with their grandson, Connie answered, “Yes,” just as Jim said, “Not nearly enough.” They laughed and said both answers were true.
Flowers were given to grandparents who came from far away, have been to the most Grandparents’ Days, had the most grandchildren and had the most grandchildren at Shepard.
One woman came from Korea, and one couple came from South Africa to be at Shepard that day. The highest number of Grandparents’ Days attended was 14. The highest number of grandchildren was 29 and the highest for grandchildren at Shepard was four.
Pam Mauch, who has been to 10 Grandparents’ Days, said she enjoys spending the day a the school. “I get to see what they’re doing and meet some of their friends,” she said. Mauch was also happy to be able to see her grandson Jared Baker sing in the choir.
Weaver talked about how the choir’s first song, which was about looking to the future, is a big part of what Grandparents’ Day is about.
“The children of our future are smarter and better than we were,” Weaver said. “Our world is pretty good right now, and they can only make it a lot better.”