Nearly 200 grandparents filled the halls of Luther High School last Friday for the school’s annual Grandparents Day celebration.

It’s a long-held tradition that goes back more than two decades.

Mission Advancement Director John Byus said the goal is to to help grandparents learn more about what the school offers while connecting them to their grandchildren.

“It’s an opportunity to see what their grandkids are learning,” Pastor Kevin Lisk said.

He said while many of the grandparent’s kids went to Luther and some were even students, many aren’t familiar with their curriculum.

“I think grandparents have a much larger interest in their grandkids now,” Byus said.

In addition to offering grandparents a glimpse at what modern Christian education entails, there was also a message about the wealth of information and experience they have to offer their grandkids.

During a sermon, Lisk shared a message with students about how valuable their relationship with their grandparents is.

Lisk said he never got to know his Grandparents.

He said his mother’s parents died long before he was born. Lisk said he didn’t get to know his father’s parents very well and what he did know about them were from stories.

“I envy you guys because I didn’t have a grandparent experience like you do,” Lisk said.

His last memory of his grandmother was in a nursing home, where she was suffering from the late stages of dementia. He said she was singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to a child.

“I’d never seen her do that before,” he said. “That memory is seared in my brain. I’ll never forget it...You have with you something I really didn’t have, grandparents.”

Lisk told students they should take advantage of the their grandparents knowledge. He said grandparents hold decades of experience that the current generation seems to willing to dismiss.

“Every generation thinks they are all that and more and the previous generation couldn’t possibly understand they’re going through,” Lisk said. “I got news for you, they understand perfectly.”

He said grandparents might not understand technology, but they know humanity.

“Illness, death, loss of job, economic disasters, I think there are pretty good odds you grandparents have lived through stuff like that,” he said, adding, “It is certainly appropriate to go up to your grandparents and say ‘grandma, grandpa, I am going through this right now. What can you tell me about it?’”

Byus said he hopes to see the Grandparents Day program continue to grow as more grandparents get involved.

“My hope is we can get more and more people involved,” he said.


Winona Daily News Crime & Government Reporter

Tobias Mann covers crime and local government for the Winona Daily News. He can be reached at or at 507-271-3271.

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