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Prairie Pedagogy: Grandparents’ Day Program at Atall School

Prairie Pedagogy: Grandparents’ Day Program at Atall School

December 5, 2019

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend Grandparents’ Day Program at Atall School on the isolated prairies.

Missy, the teacher,  has 10 students; 7 different grades; and each child there seems like a miracle to me. Missy is an amazing teacher. The grandparents walked in, and the children greeted them. I always love to see kids who are comfortable in intergenerational contexts.  For 2 full hours, each child regaled his/her own family with stories, homework, an interview, and an art project which they did together. Here is a selection of photos of kids and grandparents.

Missy just stood and watched; it takes a very talented teacher to get kids to be that independent and engaging for two full hours. Next, we marched down to the basement for the kids’ program of poems, stories, and music. More magic.

Missy’s son, Ev, had 7 grandparents attending.

It was a fabulous day, and I was the extra-Grammie, just in case one of the students needed a grandparent.  Fortunately, all of the students had grandparents who were able to attend. I loved my day and did get individual time with each student. Here Emma is explaining journaling to me.

Now, Missy and students are hard at work preparing for the Christmas program for the families and community.


  • Sharon Biegen

    Extremely inspiring—as always!

  • Carolyn Frank

    Atall School must be a wonderful place. In Santa Barbara Lois Brandts used a generational unit in her second grades, inspired by Linda Rief’s Seeking Diversity (1992). Lois and I wrote about the letters that students engaged in with grandparents in the Indiana Reading Journal, Fall 2003, entitled “Grandparent Letters: ‘Being old means you can’t play in the NBA.”

    • Carolyn, thanks for letting us know about the good stuff in Santa Barbara, too! I always love to hear from you. Joan

  • Amy Scherer

    Missy is my niece. I’m SO proud of her!

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