On May 9, 6-year-old Brendan Geary could hardly contain his excitement about whom he brought to school with him: his mother, Kate.
Brendan and his kindergarten classmates at the Swift School in Egg Harbor Township were happy to be joined for refreshments and cupcakes by the most important women in their lives for the school's first annual Mother's Day Tea. Likewise, the moms were glad to attend.
"It was fabulous, it was well done," said Geary, who lives in the Bargaintown section of Egg Harbor Township. "The kids were really excited about it, so that's the best part - knowing how excited he was for me to come here today."
About 90 moms attended the May 9 celebration, which was split into morning and afternoon sessions.
After the moms were funneled to the cafeteria and seated at specially decorated tables, their attention was drawn to a stage where their children performed a song called "I Love Mommy" set to the tune of "Frere Jacques."
Following the performance, the kids were brought back to the tables, where they were served their choice of tea or lemonade and cupcakes from Egg Harbor Township-based bakery A Little Piece of Me.
Kindergarten teacher Julie Willson, who came up with the idea for the tea, said it was well-received.
"The moms really seemed to love it," Willson said. "They all just sat here and enjoyed. They loved the show - we had some moms in tears."
The moms who attended the tea were presented with mugs emblazoned with the logo of the Egg Harbor Township Education Association, which sponsored the program. They were also given filled flowerpots and pamphlets their kids made in class.
While the accuracy of the facts Brendan included in his pamphlet was questionable, Geary found it endearing.
"(He wrote) my hair is 'yellow,' I'm 21, apparently. I'll take that," Geary said. "I make him eggs? I never make that. It's not the most accurate, but it's very flattering."
Willson said the kindergarten classes at Swift have always made gifts for Mother's Day, but this year was the first they have invited the moms to the school. The event was made possible through a New Jersey PRIDE grant, which is allocated to schools for use in programs that bring the community to the school.
Swift school first took advantage of the grants last year, but did so sparsely. This year, the school expanded their use, holding events for Earth Day, Thanksgiving and Veterans' Day programs and more.
Marie McHugh, chair of the school's PRIDE committee, said she's glad to see the school's teachers putting the funds to good use.
"We're just happy we can get the people in," McHugh said. "It's nice to get the parents in to spend time with their kids at school."
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