Grandparents U brings back many families for third year of program
Haley Fox has always wanted to be a policewoman when she grows up.
But last week the 11-year-old found a new interest — public broadcasting.
Haley and her grandmother, Joyce Coe, were two of 110 participants in the third annual Grandparents U, a three-day program giving kids between the ages of eight and 12 and their grandparents a chance to bond and experience a taste of college life on Central Michigan University’s campus.
“I really liked it all,” Haley said. “We did lots of different things, it was really fun.”
During the event, participants stayed in residence halls, ate in on-campus cafeterias and took miniature class sessions lasting about an hour.
Anne Sanders, assistant director of alumni relations, coordinated the event.
“We try to make it a college-like experience,” she said. “We want to provide an experience for people to come to campus and see what CMU has to offer.”
Class sessions were tailored to be enjoyable for the participants while offering a glimpse of what a career in each subject might entail.
A variety of different class topics were offered, including chemistry, musical theater, foreign language and science class sessions.
Sanders said more than half of this year’s participants have attended the program at least once before.
Fox and her grandmother have attended all three years of Grandparents U.
“We love everything,” Coe said. “The instructors were very, very nice, they’re just so caring about the grandparents and kids. It’s a fun experience.”
Coe appreciated that the program allowed kids to experience a variety of career fields. If not for the program, her granddaughter may not have developed an interest in public broadcasting, she said.
Fox said she really enjoyed staying in the dorms.
“I really liked it all,” she said. “You learn a lot, too.”
Cindy Thompson and her 9-year-old granddaughter, Hailee Thompson, have also attended all three years of the program.
Cindy said she really enjoyed being able to bond with her granddaughter.
“It’s important because you’re with your grandparents, that one-on-one time,” she said.
Cindy said Hailee has decided to attend Central Michigan University when she gets older.
Hailee said she wants to be a doctor. She wears a CMU headband to bed every night.
“We’re going to come next year, too,” Thompson said. “She won’t forget this.”
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