- Sponsorship -

Food and fun, Loteria and hair braiding at Community Celebration

Clear, sunny skies brought in a large crowd to this year’s annual Community Celebration

Kelloggsville — “I thought you were joking when you said you were going to get your haircut,” said a Kelloggsville parent to his son, as James Arness Miller Jr. trimmed the boy’s hair.

A 2001 Kelloggsville graduate, Miller, who is owner of the Beauty and Beast Salon, has been providing free haircuts at the Kelloggsville Community Celebration for the past couple of years.

“It’s a great way to give back to the community,” Miller said.  

With warm fallish weather on Sept. 15, Kelloggsville Middle School was bustling as families, students and staff enjoyed inflatables and low-cost food. For more than 20 years, the district has hosted the Community Celebration in the fall as an opportunity to bring the Kelloggsville community together. 

The Kelloggsville cheerleaders were handing out necklaces and poms along with free temporary tattoos to get everyone revved up for the evening football game. The Latino Student Union hosted the Loteria, a Spanish game similar to bingo. Other community and school organizations had information tables, some offering free water bottles, ice cream, and other goodies. 

The high school’s Latino Student Union hosted the game Loteria

The Place Was Hopping 

Superintendent Jim Alston, who was helping on the free snow cone station, said he felt like this year’s event was one of the biggest. A sign of that was the school’s Spirit Store table, which had pretty much sold out of everything about a half hour before the event ended. 

“I knew it was going to be busy,” said senior Renae Blair, who was helping with the 54th Street Academy’s Community Crown, where students could get their hair braided. “I just did not realize it was going to be this busy,” she added as she took down another name for her waiting list. 

54th Street Academy senior Renae Blair works on braiding hair
54th Street Academy senior Renae Blair works on braiding hair

A first time event, the Community Crown is a program the 54th Street Academy patterned after a similar event science teacher Trent Ruby had seen at Grand Valley State University.

“Hair is important in the African-American culture and this is an opportunity for us to provide a community project that really connects to our students,” Ruby said. He added that the plan is to grow the project to include more stylists.

Kelloggsville parent Viaunca Garcia said the Community Celebration is something that her family looks forward to every year because of the variety of activities.

From the Skaterainment Company are, from left, Westwood Middle School eighth-grader Joseph Richardson, Ashton Brown and Kelloggsville 10th-grader Aroldo Mejia
From the Skaterainment Company are, from left, Westwood Middle School eighth-grader Joseph Richardson, Ashton Brown and Kelloggsville 10th-grader Aroldo Mejia

“It is cheap entertainment,” said Kelloggsville parent Michael Ward as he sat in the middle-school cafeteria having dinner with his family. “But more importantly, I think it is good for the kids to get to spend some time with each other outside of school.”

Shortly after Ward’s family left, Southeast second-grade teacher Steve Keller came by to wipe down the table just seconds before another family took it over.

“This is a great opportunity for me to reconnect with some of my former students, especially those I have not seen in awhile,” Keller said. “I get to catch up on what they are doing.”

Read more from Kelloggsville: 
They’ll buzz you in
Pilot programming for VR, gaming a success

- Sponsorship -
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


Related Articles

- Sponsorship -

Issues in Education

Making Headlines

- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You Live WGVU