Grits with grands

 Willingham and Bradford


Marbut Elementary Traditional Theme School hosts annual event honoring grandparents

Before the sun rose on Sept. 26, hundreds of grandparents at Marbut Elementary Traditional Theme School broke bread with their sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters as part of the school’s annual Grits With Grands event.

“We are celebrating our grandparents,” said PTA member TaNikka Bradley. “It’s an opportunity for kids to sit down with their grandparents. Kids see their parents a lot throughout the day, but they don’t get to see grandma and grandpa at school. This is the opportunity for kids to celebrate their grandparents and gives the grandparents time to spend with their grandkids.”

Grandparents and grandchildren arrived as early as 7 a.m. to claim seats in Marbut’s cafeteria. As part of the program—now in its second year—grandparents not only ate with their grandchildren, but answered questions about their lives in a segment Bradley calls “Grandparent Hot Seat.”

“It gives kids a chance to ask questions they maybe haven’t ever thought to ask before,” Bradley said. “At the same time, it gives the grandparents opportunities to tell kids things they don’t know. Anything that you’ve ever wanted to ask your grandma but were too afraid to ask.”

Whether it was a nana, meemaw, mimi, paw, granny, grandma or grandpa, grandparents dined and answered a wide range of questions with enthusiasm.

Eugene Roland and granddaughters Jewell and Journee Mack attended the event last year and were pleased to receive the opportunity to spend time together.

“It’s something to do—it’s a part of the school and a great activity,” Roland said.

Roland and Macks

Marian Willingham and granddaughter Caiden Bradford said they love the chance to eat breakfast together. Willingham said she remembers the previous year’s event when Marbut served shrimp and grits. She said she enjoys any opportunity to show her support.

“I believe in supporting my kids and my grandkids,” Willingham said. “It’s a good thing for parents to see what’s going on with their kids and have them show-off their grandparents.”

Bradley said the 2016 event was so successful that they immediately planned a follow-up. She said feedback has been nothing but positive.

Bradley counts her own grandmother as one of her best friends and said she hopes the event fosters similar relationships.

“They provide insight into a time and different outlook,” Bradley said. “You see how your parents are, but you don’t realize that your grandparents raised them in a different environment. That relationship allows you to have the friendship as well as the authority and respect—it’s a different type of relationship than one with your parents and a different type of love. The bond is so strong.”

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