Development Laboratory Center Celebrates Grandparents Day

Some would say that school is often a humdrum of routine and rules. Even the most exciting teacher can’t compare to a kiss and cookie from grandma.

However, several of the students at the Alcorn State University Child Development Laboratory Center received the “best of both worlds” when the Center hosted Grandparents Day on September 15.

The event began with students offering a rendition of a playful, hand-clapping song called, “Good Morning…How Do You Do?” Each child swelled with pride as the chorus recycled and his or her name was inserted for a personalized greeting. Afterwards, Geraldine Booth, pre-school teacher, welcomed and thanked everyone for attending.

“It is truly an honor to see each of your lovely faces,” Booth said, as she addressed grandparents and friends. “Grandparents play a vital role in our students’ lives. When parents work, grandparents step up.”

The children were thrilled at the unfamiliar match-up between their home lives and school. Some snuggled up to their grandparents, happy to find comfort in their favorite laps. Others were eager to show their grandparents what an average day at school was like for them. They joined Classy Johnson, former manager of the Alcorn State University bookstore, on the rug for story time. Students sat attentively as she read “Little Brown Bear Won’t Take a Nap” by author Jane Dyer.

“My grandson, Cameron King, is a student here. I’m a regular at the Center because I typically drop him off each day. I’m glad I was asked to come,” said Johnson. “I also have a granddaughter who graduated from this program and has gone on to kindergarten. She was well-prepared because of the staff and the lessons she learned here.”

Afterwards it was time for a little fun. Students’ faces brightened as a familiar, silly tune started to play.

The “Tooty Ta” is a rhythmic song and dance that has the children following basic directions. It builds upon itself, adding new instructions with each verse. After compiling each of the steps, the students were left in a comical stance with a funny face to boot.

Then, Booth asked the grandparents to join in on the fun. The room filled with laughter as they mimicked the children’s silly moves.

To wrap up the program Dr. Jo Smith, former adjunct professor in the School of Education and Psychology, gave two renditions: “The Greatest Love of All,” by Whitney Houston and her own musical interpretation of, “The Lord’s Prayer.”

“My granddaughter, Embree Smith, is a student here and she invited me. I sit on the Board of AJFC Head Start and I am a strong supporter of XQ super schools,” said Smith. “I’m an advocate of re-imagining education, so I love the creative approach that the teachers and staff take here to working with our students and ensuring that they are involved and engaged.”

The students left the assembly to attend their classes, which are divided into stages from infancy to pre-school. After class, lunch was served.

The event was co-hosted by Sonya Edwards, toddler teacher.

“Grandparents take on a vital role in support of their children,” said Edwards. “As their children work, or pursue higher education, we see lots of grandparents who drop the students off, pick them up, and generally help with the well-being of our students. We held this event today because we wanted to acknowledge all that grandparents do.”

For more information on the Child Development Laboratory Center, contact Arthur Owens, director at 601-877-6488 or akowens@alcorn.edu.