Hilltop Montessori celebrates grandparents and special friends

Loved ones worked alongside students on school activities during Grandaprents and Special Friends Day at Hilltop Montessori School. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Loved ones worked alongside students on school activities during Grandaprents and Special Friends Day at Hilltop Montessori School. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

MT LAUREL—Hilltop Montessori School lower elementary student Annalise Holmes smiled as she explained why she loved having her aunt, Trisha Conrad, visit the school.

“It’s really special,” Holmes said. “I got to play charades with her!”

Conrad was just one of hundreds of loved ones and grandparents who visited Hilltop Montessori School on May 1 for the annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day.

“Grandparents love to come in and see what their grandchild is doing,” Hilltop Montessori Head of School Michele Wilensky said. “Every child in the school has a grandparent or a special friend, (we have) 100-percent participation.”

Grandparents and special friends traveled from far and wide to join students in their classrooms on May 1.

“In the classroom, they’re really working with the child,” Wilensky said, explaining Grandparents and Special Friends day gives loved ones a peek into what students do every day at Hilltop Montessori School.

Students in the upper elementary classroom worked with their grandparents and special friends to complete a U.S. history card sorting activity, studied geography and showed off recent projects.

“Students are showing them their favorite jobs,” upper elementary teacher Janet Lewis said. “They’re so proud of their work, and they work really hard. (Today) they share with their grandparents how their work is fun.”

Some classroom had special activities planned. Grandparents and special friends played a lively game of charades and listened to a special vocal performance in the lower elementary school classroom.

“They’re engaging with their grandchild, really creating wonderful memories,” lower elementary teacher Vicky Boyd said. “Grandparents are such a great part of their lives, the kids are just ecstatic this week.”

After visiting classrooms, grandparents were invited to a special reception at 10:30. At the end of the day, grandparents picked up photos taken by Heart Smile Photography and herbs potted by students.

Grandparents and Special Friends Day is not just fun for the Hilltop Montessori School students, it is also special for those invited.

“Life is good, especially when you’re with children,” Conrad said of the special day with her niece, adding her favorite part is “just being in the moment, seeing their precious little smiling faces, with the whole world ahead of them.”