Kenowa Hills — Trinity Perkins is a kindergartner at Zinser Elementary, the same school her grandma, Lisa DePuische, went to when she was her age.
“What was your favorite sport to play in school?” Trinity asked DePuische.
“I played tennis, softball and volleyball,” her grandmother said.
Trinity wrote her answers on her grandparents and V.I.P. interview paper while sitting in her classroom. She also learned her grandma’s favorite holiday is Christmas.
Zinser’s classrooms, hallways and common spaces were bursting with almost 300 grandparents and other family members for a fun-filled morning recently.
Before 8 a.m., students and their special guests lined up at the front door and across the parking lot. The line to reach the donut table wrapped through the cafeteria and down the main hallway.
“This is easily the most people we’ve had in this building, ever,” Principal Ross Willick said. “It’s such a good problem to have for so many families to join us for our special persons’ day.”
This was Zinser’s first school-wide event for families since 2016, and it was a doozy.
Donuts, Music and Automobiles
Stomachs full of donuts, students and their guests dispersed to participate in a variety of activities. In the gym, families of fifth-graders filed into the bleachers to hear a musical performance, featuring voices singing, ukulele and guitar strumming and drums to keep the beat.
Elsewhere, kindergartners colored and played word games with their grandmas and grandpas, and students paraded their “special people” around their classrooms to show off their desks and book boxes.
First-grader Hunter Virkstis learned a lesson from his grandpa Mark about telling “dad jokes.”
“Where do you think dad jokes come from? Dads who become grandpas,” his grandfather said.
First- through fourth-graders colored pictures of trucks and cars with their “mimis,” “nanas,” “pops” and “papas.”
As the second main event for their visitors, Zinser hosted members of the Portside and Grand A’s Model A Clubs in their parking lot, with eight Ford Model A cars.
Teachers played a video for their individual classes about Henry Ford, the evolution of the assembly line and how the success of the Model T inspired the company to engineer the Model A. For fourth-graders, this connected to their current social studies unit on mass production.
After people were released in groups to go outside and see the cars, one grandparent was heard to say, “These cars are older than I am.”
Students were able to sit inside some of the cars, take photos and even honk the horn.
One first-grader discovered, “They don’t even have seat belts!”
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