In Gratitude for Grandparents and Special Friends

Thank you to Emily Wilson for the following post:

What better way is there to prepare for Thanksgiving than to welcome our students’ grandparents and special friends to campus for a day in their honor? In essence, they are the foundations of our families who have made us who we are today. It seems only fitting that we celebrate our relationship with them so close to the most important day of gratitude of the year.

Whether that gives more meaning to Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day is a matter of opinion. But one thing is clear. Over 800 smiling, happy grandparents and friends—the largest crowd to date—arrived on Greenhill’s campus on Friday, November 18, 2011 to spend the afternoon with their cherished young ones. Previously held in the morning on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break, this year’s date accommodated for the week-long vacation and gave families the opportunity for more together time. The afternoon schedule allowed for students and grandparents to leave school together and kick off the vacation.

Spirits were high on this particular Friday, with the palpable buzz of excitement for vacation on the horizon. Cox Gym was transformed into an auditorium and art gallery thanks to the vibrant artwork of our lower school students. Grandparents and special friends were greeted with lunch and a music program featuring Old Time Rock ’n Roll and Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, sung and performed by the MS and US choirs. Head of School Scott Griggs introduced the Greenhill Fund Grandparent Chairs, Marilyn and Zeck Lieberman, who spoke about the importance of supporting the extraordinary school that their three children and four grandchildren have attended. Mr. Griggs followed Dr. Lieberman’s comments with his own examples of the multi-faceted, well-rounded student accomplishments that make Greenhill such a special place.

Our visitors were then dismissed to meet their young ones and accompany them to their classes. You couldn’t help but smile to see a child run at full speed across the Lower School playground to greet the open arms of their adoring grandparent. And you couldn’t help but overhear the excitement in their voices as students led them by the hand around their classroom, showing off their work or engaging them in an activity.

The support we receive from the Greenhill grandparent population is remarkable, noteworthy and often very touching. Their commitment and dedication to our families is evidenced in countless ways, through volunteer efforts and financial support. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in grandparent giving that continues to grow every year. Last year we had over 150 grandparent donors with an average gift of over $500. This proves that our grandparents have a vested interest in their grandchildren’s education. This year they also demonstrated their commitment to learning by donating 181 books to the Library ($3,620), the most books ever donated on a GP/SP day.

And so, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day, we say thank you. Thank you to our grandparents and special friends who give so much, to over 60 parent volunteers who made the day run seamlessly, to our volunteer co-chairs, Janine Pitts and Alyssa Fiedelman and PA President Camille Owens, to our grandparent giving co-chairs Marilyn and Zeck Lieberman, to the Advancement Office for orchestrating all logistics, and to our teachers for graciously opening their classrooms. Let’s say a final thank you to each other, for our commitment to the Greenhill community, making it a richer experience and a better place to be every year.

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