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East County Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2018 11 months ago

A grand time at school in Lakewood Ranch

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Braden River Elementary hosts Grandparents Luncheon.
by: Amelia Hanks Community Reporter

After retiring from her job as a teacher at DeSoto Middle School in Arcadia, Kathy Bement has been looking for ways to spend time with her grandchildren.

Fortunately for Bement, her granddaughter, Samantha Haney, is a third-grader at Braden River Elementary, where a special Grandparents Luncheon was held  Sept. 7.

Bement showed up with a Chick-fil-A sandwich.

“I’m a full-time grandma now,” Bement said as she carried a lunch bag into the school.

Many children attending Braden River Elementary were presented with a similar bounty supplied by their grandfather, grandmother, or both.

Dick and Gertrude Garland brought their grandchildren, fourth-grader Keegan Bohen and third-grader Miranda McRee, a lunch from Chick-fil-A as well.

“As grandparents, we don’t really get to see them in their environment,” Gertrude Garland said. “It’s a great opportunity to see them grow and learn. They’re blessed they go to this school.”

Haney’s paternal grandmother, Joyce Haney, said she just wanted to see her granddaughter in a safe environment.

“With things the way they are in school, it’s nice to see she’s secure here,” Joyce Haney said.

Rebecca Brunner said the event provided her the opportunity to spend time with her grandchildren, third-grader Ryelynn Brunner and first-grader Marla Brunner.

“I see them probably about once a week,” Rebecca Brunner said. “But I want to see them more.”

Lynn Steiner takes care of her grandchildren, first-grader Ava Phillips and fifth-grader Jack Phillips, most days after school. But she said it’s not enough.

“This is still a special time for us, so I got her a special sandwich from Jimmy John’s and I got her all the toppings that she wanted,” Steiner said.

Looking around, Steiner said she could see grandparents who aren’t as fortunate as her. 

“For other grandparents who don’t see their grandchildren all the time, you can tell that this a great thing,” she said.

Ava nodded her head affirmatively.

“Yeah, I like (seeing my grandma). I feel special,” said Phillips.

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