At Harloe Elementary School in Arroyo Grande, the coolest club on campus is one that bridges the age gap — The Grandparents' Club.
Around 15 grandparents volunteer at the school to help students and teachers for several hours each week.
Rose Osborne, a second grader at Harloe, described the club as, “Fun, nice, and cool.”
School Principal Debra Webster told KSBY, “It seems like every day, there’s a need, and our grandparents will step up and fill whatever need we have.”
Kathy Mihlhauser is the founder of the Grandparents' Club at Harloe Elementary and is a former teacher there. After retiring, she said she wanted to continue giving back to the school.
“When I retired, I knew I had an in with the teachers and they knew me and they trusted me. and so that’s one of the reasons I could start it here,” Mihlhauser explained.
Both the students and the teachers love having the grandparents on campus, including Kathy's granddaughter, Addy Mihlhauser.
“She's amazing to show off because then it's just like nice to have somebody, you know, on campus. So then you feel like family is around,” Addy said.
The grandparents clock in about 40 hours per month volunteering in classrooms, the cafeteria, the library, during health screenings, and more.
“We help with picture day, vision and hearing screening, just a multitude of things. And I have a very talented group that just loves to volunteer,” Kathy said.
Addy shared her favorite memory of her grandmother at school.
“We made these birdhouses, and she would, like, come and help us with a group," she said. "And that was really fun because it was like making something for nature, and it was just cool to share that.”
The club began about six years ago and is doing so well that Kathy is expanding the initiative to Branch Elementary School. They hosted their first club meeting last week. She has grandchildren there as well.
“I know there's another set of grandparents there. I actually know them. My kids went to school with them and now this is full circle, part of my grandparents’ club.”
“She’s just like my best friend. She’s always around like when I need her for something and just fun and caring and kind,” Addy said.
To get involved, people can call the front office at both Harloe and Branch Elementary Schools.