NRCA welcomed a record number of special visitors to campus on Friday, March 24. With 867 guests registered to attend, Grandparents Academy 2023 was the largest in NRCA’s history. Fine arts performances, a visual arts showcase, an exhibition of middle and high school clubs, and a Chick-fil-A breakfast highlighted the morning.
“Mrs. [Jennifer] Christensen and her team did a phenomenal job thinking through the logistics of accommodating all the wonderful grandparents that were so excited to see the Christian school that their grandkids attend in North Raleigh Christian Academy,” said Dr. Kevin Mathes, NRCA Superintendent.
Mrs. Christensen, who serves NRCA as Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Parent Relations Director, orchestrated essential changes to the event that enabled the academy to host so many visitors at once. “What she developed—and it actually evolved over many, many months of planning—gave grandparents a small glimpse into what NRCA does on a daily, weekly, monthly basis throughout the school year,” Mathes said. “Highlighting all of the students that make NRCA who we are, it was just an absolutely great day.”
NRCA divided grandparents into two groups this year: kindergarten through third grade and fourth through twelfth grade. Each group watched division-level fine arts performances and got to see an excerpt from the spring musical Anastasia.
“Kindergarten through third-grade parents got to see each of those grade-level choirs. In fourth through twelfth grade, we featured more of our middle and high school groups—the chapel praise band and our middle school choir sang, and the jazz band played,” said Tiffany Benson, Alumni and Student Relations Director.
In addition to performing arts, grandparents saw a showcase of visual arts. “Our Visual Arts Showcase had Yearbook, Photo Club, and all of our art from the ACSI Fine Arts Festival,” Benson said.
For the first time ever, grandparents were able to tour an exhibition of middle and high school clubs, interacting with student representatives and watching demonstrations of activities like robotics and esports. Members of the Student Leadership Academy and the Event Planning and Management class also helped staff the event and assisted in preparing to host NRCA’s guests.
One of the blessings of Grandparents Academy was seeing people who had been parents of NRCA students return to campus as NRCA grandparents. “I got to speak to many of the parents of friends I had growing up. It was very fun getting to share those memories as they came here as grandparents,” Benson said.
With such a successful event in light of the changes, NRCA anticipates even more updates to the Grandparents Academy program next year. “Because this was such a new version, Grandparents Academy 2.0, we are so excited for the ideas that we have for next year. So, stay tuned. We’re looking forward to having an even bigger and better Grandparents Academy 2024,” Mathes said.