By Curt Yeomans
Patricia Lewis, founder of Lewis Academy of Excellence in Riverdale, looked over the school's gymnasium on Friday morning and found herself with a conundrum.
Lewis thought she would have enough space for all of the mothers attending Lewis Academy's third annual Mother's Day brunch, if it were in the gymnasium. However, seats at all of the tables soon filled, and four classes of kindergarten students had not yet arrived with their mothers.
Nearly 200 mothers attended the event this year, and they were joined by an additional 200 children.
"I think we're going to need to pull out the bleachers," Lewis said.
The school holds the brunch every year to honor the contributions made by the mothers of Lewis Academy students. Mothers contribute to the success of their children by volunteering at the school, and making sure their children do their homework every night, Lewis said.
"Mothers are so very critical," she added. "They send very important messages to their children ... Just by showing up today, they are sending the message to their children that an education is very, very important."
This year's brunch included a Mother's Day song, performed by the Lewis Academy of Excellence Choir. "Mothers we love you with all of our hearts ... My respect for you reflects who you are ... Woman of virtue, we really love you ..." were among the lyrics to the song.
Several students read poems based on the "My Mother, My Angel" theme for this year's brunch. "My mother, my angel, you're so very nice ... like sugar and spice," said third-grader, Tavyen Matthews.
Samantha Gilmore, mother of third-grader, Isaac Lagarde, Jr., said the best part about being a mother is "having a wonderful son and teaching him right from wrong."
She also said she was impressed by the brunch because this is her son's first year at the school. "This is a wonderful thing to honor all mothers to show appreciation for the dedication and love they have for their children," Gilmore said.
Lagarde said his mom is the "greatest in the world," because "she's a great mom."
Yvette McMillan, deserves the title of "World's greatest mom," according to her child, first-grader, Chase Ponder, 6.
"She takes really good care of me, and she loves me ... I love her this much," Ponder said as he stretched his arms out as wide as his tiny body would allow.
However, fourth-grader, Takara Rodriguez, 10, thinks she has Lagarde and Ponder beaten.
She said she has the world's greatest mom, and grandmother. Takara's mother is Valencia Rodriguez, and her grandmother is LaQueen Jackson.
"Who do I love more ... hmmm ... That's a pretty tough one," Takara Rodriguez said. "I think it's pretty even. I love both of them."