30 May Grandparent Spotlight: Grandpa Jim & Grandma Molly
We are so appreciative when parents and grandparents contribute their time and talents to our program. Read about Grandpa Jim and Grandma Molly, who have offered the gift of music at one of our EFC schools.
Some time ago, I was asked to sing and play my guitar for my grandson, Ozkar’s, preschool. After my first time there the staff asked me if I could return on a regular basis, which I agreed to do. Shortly after my start, I asked my spouse Molly if she would join me, and we became the duet of Grandpa Jim and Grandma Molly. I assured her that she would not be disappointed after experiencing all those little faces. They always want to tell us about their latest adventure or latest Band-Aid. On one occasion I put a Band-Aid on the back of my guitar and showed it to the kids. I then removed the Band-Aid and stated “I guess it got better, just like yours will.”
We believe that music is an essential part of child development. We try to meet the children where they are developmentally, singing familiar as well as teaching new songs. We usually end with the song Wim-o-weh which results in a conga line marching around the classroom, with each student playing a musical instrument. We are pleasantly surprised at how quickly the children learn the words and melodies of the songs. Folk music is also a part of American History, and it is important to pass these songs onto new generations.
When our granddaughter, Delillah, started to attend the school, we added the infants to our program, performing songs that would once again be developmentally appropriate for them. On one occasion our granddaughter began to cry for some unknown reason; this was followed by every other child in the room. We finished our chorus of “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and bid the students goodbye, leaving the teachers with a room full of crying infants. When we returned the next time, our reception was much better.
In the time that we have been involved in the Especially for Children’s program, we have become somewhat of celebrities. Children recognize us from the play area as we enter the building from the parking lot or recognize us at the art show. Sometimes they forget how to address us “Hi, grandpa, Ozkar’s grandpa, Jim, Ozkar grandpa, I want to tell you something.” Molly and I have now entered the respective category of grandparents, however, we don’t mind if the kids address us on a first name basis.
As we plan for our next visit to the school, we anticipate hearing about plans for future vegetable gardens, summer vacations and to sing about the coming of the dreaded mosquito when we sing our popular song “Rosta Mosquito”. We wish to thank Especially for Children and its staff for inviting us to be part of your program.
Grandpa Jim, Grandma Molly
(Jim and Molly Bauer)