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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 is a reporter covering Kent ISD, Godwin Heights, Kelloggsville, Forest Hills and Comstock Park. The salutatorian for the Hartland Public Schools 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. Joanne moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1989, where she started her journalism career at the Advance Newspapers. She later became the editor for On-the-Town magazine, a local arts and entertainment publication. Her eldest daughter is a nurse, working in Holland, and her youngest attends Oakland University. Both are graduates from Byron Center High School. She is a volunteer for the Van Singel Fine Arts Advisory Board and the Kent District Library. In her free time, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family, checking out local theater and keeping up with all the exchange students they have hosted through the years. Read Joanne's full bio


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