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Archer hosts annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day, students share school culture with loved ones

Photo credit: Charlotte Burnap
Freshman Milan Earl and sophomore Lucy Kaplan sit with their grandparents at Archer’s annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day Friday, March 15. The event took place over three 75-minute sessions.  “[I hope my grandparents] gain an understanding about what I do,” Kaplan said, “because I know they ask a lot of questions and can sort of see what I do in school and what the experience is like to be here.”

Archer held its first annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day in May of 2001. Twenty-three years later, students, special friends and grandparents came together to celebrate the event once more Friday, March 15.

Either a student ambassador from the Ambassador Leadership Team or a parent led visitors on campus tours. Then, their grandchildren joined them for refreshments in the amphitheater, where they participated in activities together, including an interview. In this activity, event attendees were given a list of questions to ask each other to learn more about each other’s experiences in school. According to Marissa Boyle, the associate director of the Archer Fund, the day was broken into three sessions to allow as many visitors as possible. Each session spanned over 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Boyle fronted the event’s planning. She said “bigger picture” information was planned earlier, and “smaller things” were done in February and March. She said preparation for Grandparents and Special Friends day began in the summer when the calendar for the school year was released. After winter break, a save-the-date was sent out to parents, followed by a registration form sent in February. Boyle emphasized the importance of teamwork during the process.

“It’s all about coordinating with everyone else that’s involved. Our facilities team here is amazing. And so [are] the people that run the lunchroom, CulinArt — they help us plan out how many things do we need to feed this many people. Facilities helps me know how many tables can we fit, how many chairs can we fit at a table comfortably, how many people can we realistically get on campus at once,” Boyle said. “So it really is a big team effort, and I get help as well from the admissions office. They help me get tour guides because the grandparents have tours … really, it’s an effort from everyone.”

Milan Earl (‘27) said she was excited for Grandparents and Special Friends Day because her grandmother was visiting from Palm Springs and had never participated in the event before. The interview activity stuck out to her, she said, because she loved hearing about the different experiences that she has had from her grandmother.

“It was so interesting to hear how my grandma grew up. One of the questions was [about] something that was happening in that time, and my grandma said, when she was in high school, it was the Civil Rights Movement,” Earl said. “I think that was so crazy to see that she was alive in that time and … witnessed those things.”

Gail Riff, grandmother of Tati Edelman (‘30), attended the event and said this was her first visit. She said she adored the library and its variety of books.

“We had an orientation about the building. We went to the STEM science center. We saw some of the wonderful things in the geodesic dome area … I was just overwhelmed with the library. [I could] camp out in there for days,” Riff said. “[I] love the school. I want to know when I can start.”

Earl said she also enjoyed connecting with other students’ grandparents and learning about their lives. Grandparents and Special Friends day is a unique event, she said, as it allows students to show Archer culture to loved ones who might not see it otherwise.

“I feel like Grandparents Day is such an amazing day for Archer,” Earl said. “It’s such a good day to include everybody part of your family. Not just your parents or your siblings, but everybody in your family or special friends … so they can really see our community and how great it is and how much we’re thriving here.”

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About the Contributor
Charlotte Burnap, Staff Reporter
Charlotte Burnap became a staff reporter in 2023. At Archer, she sings in choir and the Unaccompanied Minors, Archer's a cappella group. In her free time, you can find her listening to music, reading, or hanging out with her friends.

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  • K

    KylieMar 23, 2024 at 3:49 pm

    Amazing work Charlotte!! ❤️