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After much planning and preparation, the big day was finally here! The students could barely contain themselves as they waited to meet the Grandbuddies. Teachers had reviewed the interview process (and good manners!) with the children and each child was armed with a clipboard, pencil, First Meeting Checklist and a "When You Were My Age" Interview Sheet of questions.

Soon the Grandbuddies could be heard making their way through the halls towards the classroom, exclaiming among themselves that it had been a LONG time since they had been inside an elementary school.

After welcoming our guests to the classroom, the teachers introduced the partners to each other. Everyone filled out a nametag and put it on their shirt so that we could remember all the names we were learning.

There were more students than older adults, so some of the Grandbuddies had two "Little buddies" to visit with.


Following their checklists, students began showing their visitors around the classrooms. Grandbuddies saw the desks, computer centers, and other interesting things. Many of them remarked that classrooms had really changed since they were children. Next on the agenda was a tour of the school. Hand in hand the new friends set off to see the gym, cafeteria, library, and playground.

Returning to the classroom, the partners settled in to work on their first interview. The teachers explained to the group that the questions were going to help the students learn what their "Grandbuddies" were like when they were children, and that the students would be writing a story about their partner from the notes they took. (See Interview Sheet 1) The children were really surprised to hear that their partners didn't get candy very often...or that they didn't have video games when they were growing up!

Photo time! Each student posed with his or her "Grandbuddy" while teachers snapped away with digital cameras. The photographs will be showcased on our class website so that family and friends can see the fun. Printed copies will be used in the Memory Books the students will be creating for their Grandbuddies at the end of the project. Smile everybody!

Double fun for this Grandbuddy!

Our new friends like computers as much as the students do! They are going to write e-mail messages between meetings so that they can learn more about each other. The teachers had obtained student's home e-mail addresses from their parents before the meeting and typed them up on pieces of paper for the Grandbuddies to take home with them. (Students without home e-mail gave their partner our classroom e-mail address.) The Grandbuddies had already given their e-mail addresses to the teachers before the meeting so the students' parents are ready to help out!

Grandbuddies also like COOKIES as much as First Graders do! We closed our meeting with yummy treats prepared by our wonderful school cook, Mrs. Takacs. The teachers had to promise to send her recipes to all of the Grandbuddies! It was hard to wait...but the students showed good manners and served their visitors first.

Then it was time to say "Thank you and Good-bye." The afternoon certainly went fast. Everyone is eager for our next meeting when the students will take a field trip to Copeland Oaks to see where the Grandbuddies live.

Additional photos of our first meeting can be viewed by clicking here.

Meeting 1 | Simulation Centers | Meeting 2 | Meeting 3 | Final Meeting

Images © Patricia Knox and The Franklin Institute. All rights are reserved.