A few of the young pupils enthusiastically showed their grandparents around Bible Baptist Christian School, in Hampton.
Ellenwood couple, John and Pat Kessler, acknowledged that their grandson, 8-year-old Matthew Williams, was excited to have them visit his school Monday, as part of the annual Grandparents Day Program. School officials noted the nationwide day of recognition, which falls on Sept. 11, has been observed at the school for more than a decade.
The boy's mother, Raven Williams, said her son and his classmates had been quiet about how they would celebrate their grandparents. "It's a surprise," said the mother. "But this is a great school; they always do everything first class."
While the school's 2011 Grandparents Day recognition fell on Monday, Sept. 12 this year, school officials said they used the opportunity to also commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and honor the fallen heroes of the national tragedy.
Matthew Williams' third-grade class joined with second-graders at the school in singing, "Let's Sing a Song of America."
Some of the 198 students at the school, which serves kindergartners through twelfth-graders, took part in patriotic readings, singing and performing instrumental selections.
The program, named "Flags and Heroes: A Tribute to 9/11," included performances by the Bible Baptist Christian School Concert Band and Concert Choir, and song selections from other student groups.
Select sixth-graders read biographies of five "9/11 heroes" — life-saving individuals, who, themselves, perished in the attack. They included: Moira Smith, of the New York Police Department; Welles Crowther, an investment banker; Tom Burnett, a business executive; Leonard Hatton, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Ronald Bucca, a New York Fire Marshal.
Carol Lee, the private Christian school's administrative assistant, said the school has been hosting Grandparents Day Programs for more than a decade now, because, "We really want them [grandparents] to support our endeavor, and support our school and parents, and help the students be the best they can be.
"They have been a blessing; they've been just as excited as the kids are," said Lee. "We need to honor our grandparents. They've been through a lot and can teach a lot."
"I think it gets the grandparents involved, and [they can] see what the kids are doing," added grandmother, Pat Kessler, of the day's visit. "I think it was just marvelous."