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Wolverine WinterFest a hit with hundreds

A peek at some of the activities at this year’s Wolverine WinterFest

Godwin Heights — The Godwin Heights High School’s gym area was bustling as families made take-home hot chocolate kits, played games, screen printed T-shirts and had their holiday pictures taken.

It was the district’s annual holiday event, which this year had been rebranded as the Wolverine WinterFest. The December event was held in the high school’s gymnasium.

“We have 670 people signed up,” said Sarah Schantz, Kent School Services Network community coordinator for West Godwin, adding with a laugh, “I hope they don’t all come at once.”

In years past, the district’s KSSN staff have hosted Holiday Home Visits, where through staff visited homes of families who signed up and delivered small gifts to children in the household. 

The event shifted to a drive-through at the high school as a result of pandemic safety measures, but “we … realized there was not much community engagement happening with staff and students,”  Schantz said.

So the KSSN team — Kelsey Gruber, coordinator for the high school; José Rodriguez, coordinator for the middle school; Carolina Dietz, coordinator for North Godwin; and Schantz — came up with the idea of hosting an indoor event at the high school, renaming it the Wolverine WinterFest. 

Upon entering the gym, students were given a bright red bag that they could fill with snacks, such as a take-home hot chocolate kit, and prizes won playing various games. Community partners handed out prizes and other items. Wyoming Department of Public Safety officers stopped by to visit with families, TEAM 21 was there to talk about programs and participants could decorate lunch bags for Hand2Hand.

“It’s really been fun,” said sixth-grader Aurora Bucy, who added that the best part was being able to hang out with her friend, sixth-grader Scarlett Hernandez.

Her favorite activity? “Hmmm … let me see,” Aurora said. “It is the screen printing of the shirts and the face painting.”

Her sister, Laila, a third-grader who attends North Godwin, said she enjoyed the games, especially the one that involved tossing a ball into a line of blue buckets.

Read more from Godwin Heights: 
High school drumlines keep the beat for downtown event
Bringing the options in-house

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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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