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September 12, 2013

Elementary Students Host Grandparents Day at SCR-I

Enrollment swelled at least for a day at Scotland County R-I Elementary School as grandparents joined the ranks of students for a special day shared with grandchildren.

by Christina Duzan

Students at Scotland County Elementary celebrated Grandparents Day on Friday September 6th. Students were able to share with their grandparents a glimpse of what they do in school, in addition to enjoying refreshments together.

Many probably do not know the unique history behind Grandparents Day. Marion McQuade of West Virginia was 76 when she started lobbying for there to be a national holiday or observance in recognition of grandparents and the elderly.

McQuade was married for 57 years to a coal miner. Together they had 15 children and 40 grandchildren.

After five years of lobbying, McQuade received a proclamation from the governor on May 27, 1973. In September of 1978 she received a phone call from President Carter's aide saying that it was to become a national holiday celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day.

President Carter signed the official proclamation on September 6, 1979 which stated, "Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our mobile society, our senior generation also provides our society a link to our national heritage and traditions.

"We all know grandparents whose values transcend passing fads and pressures, and who possess the wisdom of distilled pain and joy. Because they are usually free to love and guide and befriend the young without having to take daily responsibility for them, they can often reach out past pride and fear of failure and close the space between generations." The first national observance of Grandparents Day was September 9, 1979.

Grandparents Day even has an official song, 'A Song for Grandma and Grandpa' by Johnny Prill, and a flower, the forget-me-not.

In today's society some grandparents are playing a more significant role than ever. In 2012, thirty percent of childcare for children under the age of five, to working mothers, was provided by a grandparent.

According to an infographic from Generations United, in 2011 the number of grandparents in the United States was 65 million, and is expected to rise to 80 million by 2020.

Take time to acknowledge the grandparents, one's own or surrogate, who have played an important role in one's life.

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