Children First: The impact of Grandpa Arturo

Jason Oliveira Image
Saturday, December 17, 2022
Children First: The impact of Grandpa Arturo
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Grandparents can play a big role in supporting kids academically and socially.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Basketball games turn into a family affair for Arturo Yanez.

He's the timekeeper at Orosi High School.

His son runs the shot clock and his 16-year-old granddaughter, Elena, loves to take in all the action on the court.

"We bond a lot because me and him, we like our sports, but basketball and volleyball are like our main ones," she said.

Like basketball, raising a family takes discipline and teamwork.

Yanez and his wife, Dora, raised three of their grandchildren. Elena has lived with them since she was four years old.

"It was important for us to take them in so they know that we're family, we're here for you," Arturo said.

A child's journey starts with positive interactions. Child development experts say grandparents can play an important role when parents are working or unavailable.

"We all need someone that's crazy about us," says Lisa Boss with the TCOE Child Development Program. "We need that one person that's crazy about us , and I think that's the role that grandparents play."

Yanez is well-known on campus. He spent years working for the school district, plus 25 years officiating high school games in Kings and Tulare Counties.

"Mr. Yanez is amazing, not only with the educational aspect of a grandparent, but also the community," says Orosi High Principal Marlena Celaya. "He is seen at our sporting events. He runs the table for sports events. Not only does he advocate for his grandkids, he advocates for all students."

Arturo and Dora stress the importance of education.

"To me, I wouldn't want them working in the fields," Dora said. "Our main goal is for her to graduate high school and for her to continue her education."

Yanez can check on Elena's academic progress online and is even known to email staff if he has questions.

That involvement is just what educators want.

"Mr. Yanez is the day-to-day, so he has to be the parent to tell his grandkids do your homework," Celaya said.

Elena knows whatever path she takes, her grandparents have her back.

"Even though we don't come from a wealthy family, they don't really care about all that," she said. "It's like family time matters to them."