On Friday, Tri County kindergarten and first grade students got to bring their grandparents to school to show off their classrooms and point out some of the work they've done, but Carson Rahe had other ideas.
Sitting at lunch in the cafeteria with his grandmother, Karen Rahe, Carson said he was a big fan of the chicken noodle soup, the cinnamon roll, the banana and chocolate milk on the tray, but he was adamant about one of the items on the menu.
“I'm not going to eat the beans,” Carson said.
“I'm going to eat the beans,” Karen told him. “That's probably my favorite part.”
Then, just as his grandmother turned to look the other way, Carson started ladling his green beans onto her plate, laughing.
March 2 was grandparents day at Tri County, and it was more than just an excuse to not eat beans. Students had the chance to eat lunch with their grandparents, but they also went out to recess together, celebrated the legacy of Dr. Seuss and even sang a few songs together.
This is the pilot year for the event, said Principal Jesse Gronemeyer. They wanted to try it out with kindergarten and first grade students and gauge how it did with a limited run.
"We didn't think we'd have many grandparents," Gronemeyer said. "And, 113 signed up. It was very well received."
Rhonda Drewes, the guest and grandmother of Bayne Drewes, said it was great to see Bayne in action. Grandparents only come to the school on special occasions, she said, and spending time with the kids on their own turf is a lot of fun.
Nancy Pohl and her granddaughter, Macie Kaelin, were just finishing up lunch and about to head out to recess. It was a great time, she said, and she enjoyed being able to see the kids going about their daily routines. It was a lot like she remembered, she said, she just didn’t remember it being that much fun.
“I'm sure enjoying every bit of it,” Peggy Neuman said, having just sat down to lunch with her granddaughter, Ally Pearson. “You bet.”
The invite-only event was bigger than school officials expected, Gronemeyer said, and he’s planning for it to become a regular event. Grandparents day offers a way to tell grandparents how much the school appreciates everything they do for the school and the students, he said.
"We do so many activities out here where parents are able to come," Gronemeyer said. "We honor the parents, but grandparents are very special people in these kids' lives, too, and play a very important role in a child's life."