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Grandparents enjoy special lunches at local elementary schools in celebration of holiday

Last week, local elementary students experienced all the comforts of home while they were at school. In celebration of Grandparent's Day, students at Norris Elementary invited their grandparents to enjoy lunch in the school cafeteria. And the menu included the traditional Southern comfort foods - fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, green beans and biscuits.

Cafeteria Manager Angie Charles said they served over 180 extra meals that day, and the staff "really enjoyed doing it for them."

"Wish I had more of that fried chicken," said Rick Sewell, who was having lunch with his grandson, fifth grader Will Campbell. "It was an excellent lunch, except for these small stools we have to sit on."

Other grandparents also experienced the nostalgic feel of the elementary cafeteria.

"It's been 20-something years since I've been in this place, so this is different," said Helen Walker, who was with fourth grader Allison Murphy.

The adults weren't the only ones enjoying themselves. Will said he was having a good time with his granddad because "we get to talk more than usual" during lunch at school.

"The principal usually tells us to use our six-inch voice inside," said Alex Hyman, who is also in fifth grade. "But it is pretty loud in here today."

Alex explained that a "six-inch voice" means speaking so that only the closest person can hear.

But the cafeteria was abuzz with conversation, from Dianne Kendricks, who said her grandson, Dondrell, left a note on her refrigerator reminding her to come, to Sue Hardy, who was celebrating more than Grandparent's Day with her grandson, Lee Clary.

"Today's also my birthday, so this made it more special," Ms. Hardy said.

Some grandparents even acquired a few new grandchildren. Tereatha Nwankwo has 17 grandchildren, and three of them - Marquel Gibbons, Devin Roberts and Tredous Brinkley - attend Norris Elementary. But Friday, Ms. Nwankwo was surrounded by four boys at the lunch table.

"They're all my friends, so we can share," fourth grader Isaiah Williams said as he smiled and leaned closer to Ms. Nwankwo. "My grandma had to work, so she couldn't come."

Students at Dearing Elementary and Maxwell Elementary schools started their day off with Grits for Grandparents last week, also. A spokesperson for Dearing said approximately 180 grandparents enjoyed breakfast Monday and Tuesday, and 80 enjoyed their breakfast at Maxwell on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Web posted on Thursday, September 20, 2007

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