The 2017-18 theme at Queen of the Apostles Catholic School in Tomah is “family,” and it encompasses more than mother, father, sister and brother.

The school brought grandparents into the family mix during Grandparents Day Sept. 21. The school was packed with students and their grandmothers and grandfathers for a day of faith, food and entertainment.

“Bringing in the grandparents shows an appreciation of the extended family,” said Queen of the Apostles principal Sandy Murray. “It made the grandparents feel special.”

The day began with students and their grandparents celebrating mass together. Grandparents then visited their grandchildrens’ classrooms, followed by lunch and musical entertainment provided by the student body.

Jeanette Boehm shared lunch with her twin grandsons, Patrick and Samson, both in five-year-old kindergarten. She welcomed the chance to spend the day with them.

“It’s pretty special,” Boehm said. “I enjoy my grandkids. They’re a treat.”

Murray said grandchildren also enjoyed the afternoon. She said students were anxious to share their classroom work.

“The kids love it,” Murray said. “It’s kind of showing off to their grandparents.”

Fourth grader Karli Owen and second grader Klara Owen were joined by three of their grandparents − Mary Owen, Roxanne Hall and Vernie Vandervort. Hall said she’s fortunate to live in close proximity to her two granddaughters and has attended the Grandparents Day every year.

“It’s fun to meet with their teachers and see their progress from year to year,” Hall said.

Vandervort said any event that brings children together with their grandparents is a good idea.

“I always enjoy this because I don’t always get to see them,” she said. “It’s wonderful being with them.”

Boehm has 12 grandchildren, all of whom live in Wisconsin. She considers herself fortunate that her grandchildren aren’t scattered across the country.

“They are kind of close, but it’s nice to be close enough to be able to do something like this,” she said.

Murray said Grandparents Day is way to link faith and family.

“We’re trying to encourage everyone to get together and enjoy each other’s company,” Murray said. “That’s something we’re encouraging with our faith. It reinforces the family.”