Great Ideas: Get Grandparents Involved!

A school’s Grandparents’ Club takes on new meaning

At Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, volunteering has taken on new heights. In June 2014, a few grandparents felt the call to do more, and by the start of the new school year, the Grandparents’ Club had begun.

With so many children’s parents both working, their grandparents have become a large presence within the school. They have taken on the name “Ubantu,” which loosely translates from the South African language meaning “I am because you are.” At the heart of the meaning is the connectedness between people and is largely associated with Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

With 100 currently registered members, they can be found running the library and lunchroom, tutoring students, volunteering in the classroom, and more. Using their special skill sets, they offer classes to the middle-school students — including sewing, cooking, woodworking, and technology.

Another important program they have started is the “Prayer Partners” program. Grandparents take on a teacher and classroom for one year, focusing on the spiritual needs of that specific group of staff and students. It is quite powerful!

Sherrie Souza, one of the founding grandparents, says, “Where there is a need, there is always a grandparent that has the knowledge. We in turn have found support from each other in the process.”

~ Submitted by Melissa Piglia from Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Image credit: Shutterstock 618680771

Image credit: Shutterstock 618680771

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Image credit: Shutterstock 618680771

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