One of the clear advantages of attending Harrisburg Academy is the focus we place on forging partnerships with our parents. Research shows that parent involvement is one of the key elements of a child’s success in school. It only stands to reason that the more family members who are aware of and involved in a child’s schooling, the more likely that child’s success will be enhanced.

That is why we host Grandparents and Special Friends Day at the Academy. The event is planned to specifically bring grandparents to campus to see what the children do here since many play such an important role in the lives of our students. We realize that not every child’s grandparents can come or that they may not have living grandparents, and thus, the invitation to special friends is also extended.

The students’ presentations are designed to be “conversation starters.” We recognize that we could not show any visitor what a child’s experience is like at the Academy in such a short period of time. Still, we have created an opportunity for grandparents and special friends to get just a glimpse and hope that this glimpse will serve as a starting point for on-going conversations about a child’s experiences throughout the child’s educational journey.

It was very clear that most of our families agree. Both the Early Childhood and Lower School events were filled to capacity at our annual events held Friday, Oct. 26. In fact, our events have become so popular in the last few years, we have had to separate the divisions as well as ask parents to refrain from attending so that there would be room to accommodate all the grandparents and special friends who attend. The teachers take extra care to make sure children without visitors are supported and nurtured, and we find that children are very resilient. Currently, the only exceptions we feel comfortable in making is to allow parents to accompany grandparents who do not drive, need help because of personal mobility issues or are needed to help overcome language barriers.

We want to thank all our families for the support of our students and of our programs. We hope to see all of our grandparents and special visitors at other school events this year and of course, again at next year’s Grandparents and Special Friends Day!