SIDNEY — The gymnasium at Christian Academy School in Sidney was a noisy place Friday afternoon.
It was also a happy place as children in the elementary grades celebrated Grandparents Day with their grandparents and great-grandparents.
Organized by the school’s third-grade teachers, Susan Blackford and Marsha Kindig, the event included crafts, games, refreshments and photographs. High school students assisted with the day’s activities.
“It’s working out nicely,” Superintendent Mary Smith said of the day.
Blackford said that 134 “grand people” and 80 students, comprising 58 families, participated. By all indications, a great time was had by all.
Jill and Ed Barger, of Anna, grandparents of Lillian Stewart, 11, and Kady Stewart, 7, of Sidney, had been invited by the children to attend. The kids also invited Lillie Cost, of Sidney, their great-grandmother.
“We wanted to spend time with them,” Lillian said. Her grandfather echoed her sentiment. Ed was there, he said, because “I like spending time with (the girls).” The Bargers and Cost had celebrated Grandparents Day at the school before.
“For four years,” Jill said.
“I came to support my two great-granddaughters,” Cost said. Kady’s favorite activity had been making a picture frame. Her foam memento was bedecked with stickers of leaves and fall blossoms.
“We had our picture taken and we’re going to put our picture in it,” Cost said.
Jill is a teacher at the school and talked about why the event is important.
“We want to keep grandparents aware of what’s going on in the school, because a lot of grandparents contribute: money, picking up the kids when they’re sick or after school. It’s a way to show appreciation,” she said.
Frederick Keller, of Sidney, who was enjoying the afternoon with his granddaughter, Becca Keller, 8, of Sidney, appreciated how many people were involved. It was his first visit to the Christian Academy.
“It’s kind of neat to have the older students help run the event so they can have the experience,” he said. The Kellers had frosted and eaten cookies and made a picture frame.
“And I ate all the pretzels,” Becca said. Becca had invited Keller, “because he was open,” she said. The owner of GreatStone Castle has been working in Columbus four days each week, but he has Fridays free.
“I’m glad to hear enrollment has gone up significantly this year,” he said of the school. “My wife’s a public school teacher, but we obviously support the private school, also.”
Darlene and Ron Keller, of Piqua, no relation to Frederick, interrupted a game of Old Maid with their granddaughter, Savannah Baughman, 8, also of Piqua, to talk about the value of the day.
“It brings the family into the school more. It opens doors for discussion with the children and it’s just a fun time,” Darlene said. “I think grandparents’ interaction with grandchildren can be a valuable support system for parents.”
She and Ron have had three grandchildren at Christian Academy and are experienced Grandparents Day participants. They liked this year’s new activity: table games in the gym.
“In previous years, there have been games in the classrooms,” Ron said. The games were Savannah’s favorite part of the day.
“And the cookies,” she said, before she was called away by a classmate to help put a 780-piece jigsaw puzzle together.
The celebration concluded with a raffle of school sports passes and tickets to an annual spaghetti dinner and Art for the Heart.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824. Follow her on Twitter @PASpeelmanSDN.