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Student Perspectives: 2018 Grandparents' and Special Friends' Day

By Alexander Lennon '26 

On November 20, 2018, one of Ranney School’s greatest traditions took place. Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day occurs every year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Many Ranney Lower School students like this event. Ranney students enjoy Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day, not only because they are able to show off their music and world language skills to their families and to give thanks for their support, but also because they can leave after their on-stage performance to start preparing for Thanksgiving. Beginners through fifth grade participate in Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day. In fact, this year’s Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day was my eighth and last since I’ll be entering middle school in 2019.

In all the years  I’ve performed on Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day,  guests have always fancied each and every part of the show. They oohed and aahed when we climbed the stage as 3 and 4 year olds. They clapped when we sang “Over the river and through the woods….”
This year the fifth grade  sang, “We the People” for the musical aspect of Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day.  French students sang another song. Both the Spanish and Chinese students exhibited powerpoint presentations. Our fifth grade entertained the audience with,   “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?” The game included an emcee walking around the auditorium with a microphone and students asking the audience questions. It seemed like the audience thought that was fun too.

My favorite part of Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day is getting people to laugh. After all,
isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about?  Thanksgiving is laughter, family, (and of course, good food and football).  For example, our French class sang, “Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar” in French. We started “Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar” at one end of the line and then said the next person in line’s name, and so on and so on. Finally, they got to me at the end of the line.  Instead of saying, “Who, me?” I had the honor of delivering the punchline: “I don’t know who did it, but they tasted good!” That got a big laugh out of the audience. My absolute favorite part I will miss about Grandparents’ and Friends’ day is the preparation that goes into the day. I like preparing for the classroom visit, practicing the songs, rehearsing and then putting on my best suit and performing. Once again Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day is very much like Thanksgiving in the preparation of a celebration.

One year this writer couldn’t wait for Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day to be over, but now I find myself sad that next year in Middle School I won’t be participating. I will miss  the teacher’s help in getting ready and the buzz around the day before the Thanksgiving break. The early dismissal is nice too.

by Mara Manzella '26

On Tuesday, November 19, Ranney School celebrated Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day. I have looked forward to this annual event since my first year at Ranney as a Beginner. Students of the lower school, beginners through fifth grade, invite their grandparents or other special persons in their lives to join them for a morning of fun and sharing to start off the Thanksgiving holiday. The guests visit the classrooms and attend a presentation in Panther Hall.
The classroom visits are a time to share a game or activity with family and friends. This year, fifth grade shared some Thanksgiving puzzles and trivia. It was great to challenge ourselves and our guests! Did you know a turkey can fly up to 55 miles per hour? After the classroom visits, our guests filled Panther Hall for a presentation of what the students have been working hard on in music class and in language arts. The fifth grade sang ‘We the People’ from Schoolhouse Rock and played a fun and lively game of, ‘ Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?’ It turned out that our Grandparents’ and Special Friends are just as smart as our fifth graders! Chef Chris and his team always offer delicious treats for our guests to enjoy while viewing the artwork on display in the gallery outside Panther Hall. Everyone is proud to have their art displayed, especially the youngest Panthers.
My grandma and Aunt Marilyn always enjoy Grandparents and Special Friends day. I am always excited to have this opportunity to share my school with my Grandma and Aunt who are truly special to me. Grandparents Day is a great opportunity for students to share their school with the special people in their lives. After crossing the lawn over to the Ranney middle school, I am going to miss this tradition. I look forward the the new ways I will share my school with my parents and family and to being a special guest of my younger sister, Scout, at the Lower School for a few more years.

Ranney School

235 Hope Road
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Tel. 732.542.4777
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