Senior citizens and children joined Central Michigan University students on campus last week as part of the the fifth annual Grandparents U event.
Grandparents and their grandchildren stayed in dorms and attended classes for a taste of the college life. Classes ranged from crime scene science, surviving the Hunger Games and cultures of the world.
Anne Sanders, assistant director of Alumni Relations at CMU, said there were 59 grandparents and 71 grandkids at the event this year.
Mark VanderMeulen came to Grandparents U with his grandson, Mason Osborne. They have been coming to the event for the past four years, VanderMeulen said, because they enjoy the atmosphere, the classes and coming back to CMU
“This is a great program for getting the kids here,” he said. “(Mason) knows his way around, as a 12-year-old, better than some adults.”
This was the first year that Joyce Coe was able to bring both her granddaughters, Maddie and Haley Fox. Coe said it was a wonderful experience spent with her granddaughters as they learn what college life is like.
“They’re learning the whole college life,” she said. “I think it’s an entry into what you’re going to be doing; staying in the dorms, eating their food, learning, going to class, trying to make it to class on time, learning the map and how to find where you’re going.”
Fox said she was more excited to be in the college atmosphere than anything else.
“Everything about being in a college is fun,” she said. “I like staying in dorms and getting into a different place for a while.”
Sandra Zilinicik and her granddaughters Katie and Sarah Zilinicik have been coming to Grandparents U for years. They said it helps connect them with each other and the school.
“We’ve been having a really good time; every year we come has been something different,” Sandra Zilinicik said.
Katie said she feels more comfortable at CMU thanks to Grandparents U.
“It seems like a school I would like to go to,” she said. “I think people should try this with their grandparents. It’s fun, and they would have a good time.”