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March 4, 2021

Episode 9. Grandparents Day in Schools

Episode 9. Grandparents Day in Schools

Learn about schools that encourage grandparents to participate in school life and a children's book that celebrates grandparents.

The ninth episode of the Adventures with Grammy® podcast looks at grandparent programs in public and private schools. This podcast features three segments and six guests.

The first segment will discuss how to setup a grandparent program at your grandchild’s high school.

The second segment will look at a children’s picture book, “Hip Hip Hooray, It’s Grandparent’s Day.”

And the third segment will provide insight into a Grandparents Day program that has been ongoing at a private school since the 1980s.

Our first two guests are Jerry Witkovsky and Deanna Shoss.

The 93-year-old Witkovsky spent 47 years in professional leadership roles, 18 of which was as the General Director of Chicago’s Jewish Community Centers, before he retired in 1997.

In 1995, Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine named him as one of the city’s “Most Effective Nonprofit CEOs”.

The grandfather of six and the great grandfather of one is the author of The Grandest Love: Inspiring the Grandparent-Grandchild Connection in which he details his passionate belief in the transformative power of becoming a “Teaching-and-Learning” family.

He, along with Deanna Shoss, who founded the marketing consulting firm Intercultural Talk, Inc., have written the Grandparent Connection School Kit: The Secret to Entering Your Grandchild’s World

It is a complete guide to setting up a grandparent program at your grandchild’s high school – a program designed to keep grandparents engaged with their grandkids during the crucial teen years.

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We also will discuss a writing program for grandparents to record their life stories.

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Segment 2 features the mother daughter authors Danita Mahler and Sarah Rice.

The duo has written Hip Hip Hooray, It’s Grandparents Day. The grandparents with their fancy grandparent names are backstage with their grandchildren waiting for the fun of Grandparents Day to begin.

Danita Mahler became a Grammy in 2008 and life has never been the same since. She says no one loves you as unconditionally as a grandchild and is thrilled she now has six. Her daughter, Sarah Rice, is on hiatus from her teaching career as she raises her four children. She says she keeps current with her classroom management skills as her family’s Chaos Coordinator.


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Segment three features Dr. Christopher Garran and Julie Scherrer.

Dr. Garran is the 11th Head of School for Cape Henry Collegiate and president of the Cape Henry Collegiate Board of Trustees.

Julie Scherrer is the Major Gifts Officer and the grandmother of a delightful one-year-old.

The genesis of the school’s Grandparent’s Day program began in 1982 as Friends’ Day. It has evolved into an annual Grandparents’ Day program for the lower school students and features them in music and dance performances for a standing-room-only crowd of grandparents. The magic of the day, says Dr. Garran, occurs when grandparents visit individual classrooms after the showcase performances.


Personalized Grandparent Name Bears

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