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Vista Charter Academy Spreads Cheer with Holiday Drive-Thru

Twinkling lights, festive colors, and smiles all around as staff at Vista Charter Academy hosted a holiday-themed drive-thru to celebrate the holidays safely. More than 300 families came out to participate in the jolly community event in mid-December.

“We set up lights and hosted a holiday drive-thru on the corner of 32nd and Eastern in Grand Rapids, Michigan last night,” said Kristen Hekkema, principal at Vista. “Our Christmas spirit filled the area, while students were able to enjoy the lights, see their teachers, and receive some treats and a gift from the school.”

Decked out in cheerful holiday attire, staff members from the school gathered on the sidewalk to greet families as they drove through the holiday lane. “The students, families, and staff were appreciative to have the opportunity to celebrate safely and show our Vista pride,” said Amanda Blair, art teacher at Vista. “The joy that was felt by everyone was exactly what we needed before our holiday break.”​​​​​​​

Throughout the evening, with cars lined up spanning a full block, teachers and school leaders passed out 350 goodie bags, candy canes, and hundreds of books for students to read over the holiday break.

“Families were so excited, they were lined up 30 minutes before the event was supposed to start,” shared Hekkema. “Our students had giant smiles on their faces and parents were so appreciative that teachers and staff took the time to say hello!”​​​​​​​

Vista’s school leaders decided to host the socially-distanced “Happy Holidays from the Huskies” drive-thru parade as an opportunity for students to see their teachers before taking time away for the holiday break. “We continue to look for opportunities to make sure our families continue to feel connected to Vista during remote learning,” Hekkema said.

Now, a few days into the new year, Vista is looking forward to welcoming students back to hybrid and in-person learning.

“The Vista staff is ready to welcome our students back in person when they come!” said Hekkema. “We know that in-person instruction is so important, particularly the relationships we build with our students.”