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Spreading some holiday cheer, at a safe distance

Godwin Heights – For the past four years, the Godwin High School staff has celebrated the season and their students through the school’s annual Holiday Presence, where staff drop off a gift to students and their families.

With 2020 being an especially challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff decided it was more important than ever to host the event this year, said Godwin Heights Principal Chad Conklin. But some changes had to be made due to state COVID restrictions. 

The event was modified to allow families to drive up to the high school, where staff placed gifts in the trunks of cars at a safe distance. About 400 gifts were delivered to the Godwin community in the pre-Christmas event. 

Funded by the school’s improvement grant, every child on the list received a bag filled with school supplies that included a folder, a notebook, pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters, and colored pencils, headphones, a Wolverine water bottle, a holiday activity book, snacks, hot cocoa and marshmallows, and updated climate and culture data about the Godwin Heights High School.

Godwin Heights High School staff hosted its annual Holiday Presence, giving gifts to the students and their families (courtesy)
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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma covers Kent ISD and Godwin Heights. She was born in the Detroit area but grew up in Brighton where she attended Hartland Public Schools. The salutatorian for the Class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism and minored in photography and German. She expanded her color palette to include orange and black as both her daughters graduated from Byron Center Public Schools; maroon and white for Aquinas College where her daughter studies nursing and also brought back blue and maize for Grand Rapids Community College where her youngest daughter currently is studying music. Read Joanne's full bio


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