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IN THE COMPANY OF GRANDPARENTS

The doors opened wide at Deer Park Elementary for grandparents who were invited last week to come and share a part of their grandchild's - and in some cases grandchildren's - day while sharing lunch. This is the fourth year that the school has honored grandparents by inviting them into the school during the week before Grandparent's Day, which was celebrated nationwide on Sept. 13. Marian McQuade, a homemaker in Fayette County, W.Va., was the founder of Grandparents Day, which has been celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day since 1978.

By the numbers

6.6 million: Children living with a grandparent in 2008; these made up 9 percent of all children in the United States. The majority of these children, 4.4 million, lived in the grandparent's home.

2.6 million: Children who lived with both a grandmother and a grandfather in 2008.

2.5 million: Grandparents responsible for most of the basic needs (food, shelter, clothing) of one or more of the grandchildren who lived with them in 2007. These grandparents represented about 40 percent of all grandparents whose grandchildren lived with them. Of these caregivers, 1.6 million were grandmothers, and 932,000 were grandfathers.

1.5 million: Grandparents who were in the labor force and also responsible for most of the basic needs of their grandchildren.

930,000: Grandparents in 2007 responsible for caring for their grandchildren for at least the past five years.

482,000: Grandparents whose income was below the poverty level and who were caring for their grandchildren.

732,000: Grandparents with a disability who were caring for their grandchildren.

586,000: Grandparents who spoke a language other than English and who were responsible for caring for their grandchildren.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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