Visitors to Forest Hills Lutheran School’s second annual “Grandparents and Grandfriends Day” Sept. 6 literally bent over backward to help Principal Dan Seim illustrate the importance of cooperation in a learning environment.

“This takes leadership and a willingness to work together,” Seim said from the floor of the private Cornelius school’s gym, as seven students and a like number of adults joined hands in a giant human knot.

Then, they raced to see which group — fourth-graders or fifth-graders — could untangle itself first. The younger set won.

“It takes great cooperation to make a school like this happen,” Seim said of the preschool-through-eighth-grade program offered at FHLS.

After singing a couple songs, the 120 attendees were dismissed for tours of the campus and time in their grandchildren’s classrooms. In Linda Hirsch’s third-grade classroom, students showed their grandparents self-portraits they had drawn, where their “mailboxes” are and how neatly they maintain their desks.

They also peered into the terrarium containing the class “pet,” an insect known as a Walkingstick. “See how he blends into his environment?” noted student Grace Stramel of Cornelius.

Then it was on to the library, where pupils read poems about their grandparents and lined up to deliver a cheer that ended with a colorful wish for a “Happy Grandparents’ Day!”

They also sat at round tables and talked together about what had been different — or the same — when members of the older generation were in third-grade.

Director of Admissions Audrea Lotman said that the school used to hold the grandparents/grandfriends event annually, but it took a hiatus and was reinstated last year. “I anticipate it will grow from here,” she said.

Some students had five “grands” attend this year’s event, Lotman added, “including one 94-year-old great-grandma who came from Southern California.”

The 20-year-old Forest Hills, located on Southwest Golf Course Road, added a preschool program this year.

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