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Vista Charter Academy Conducts ‘Bob the Builder’ Tours This Summer

Vista Charter Academy has been undergoing major renovations this summer. The admissions and administrative staff decided to use that to their advantage and offer “Bob the Builder” tours to new and existing families. Tours have been offered every Tuesday morning in July and August.
You might remember “Bob the Builder,” a British animated children’s television series. The catchphrase from the show is “Can we fix it?”, to which the other characters respond with “Yes we can!” This phrase is also the title of the show’s theme song.
 A child wearing a hard hat.
This future Vista Charter Academy scholar is completing his inspection during the “Bob the Builder” tour.

Senior Admissions Representative Velvet Doyle and Admissions Representative Bruce Boman developed the “Bob the Builder” concept. When scholars check in with a parent, they get a hard hat and an inspection list on a clip board. As the tour progresses, the students check items off the list. Those items are: Ice Cream, Floors, Lockers, Gym, and Parent Signature. Some parents even had their kids sound out the words and read the list to the group.
“These tours have been a great idea for Vista,” Vista Charter Academy Principal Kristen Hekkema said. “Our goal this year is to have parents more connected to our school, and welcoming them in, even during construction, is definitely a start to building connections.

Children wearing hard hats and talking to a woman in a safety vest.Lizett Garcia, left, parent volunteer, helps this scholar get his hard hat for the tour.

“It’s been fun to watch the kids walk around with hard hats on checking out the work and being able to walk around the school with their parents,” Hekkema continued. “We look forward to all of this being finished and welcoming our students back to a new and improved building. It’s always a great day to be a Vista Husky!”
The remodeling work being done at Vista is:
  • All flooring replaced – both carpet and tile.
  • New paint outside and inside the building.
  • Resurfaced parking lot.
  • Installation of new lockers.
Boman engages in conversation with families and students as he tours the facility. He tries to take the students to the areas they will spend the most time, whether it’s the lower or upper elementary or middle school.

A child in a hard hat with their parents.This family enjoyed having the opportunity to see the remodeling work taking place at Vista.

“I show the families the playground, the gym, the classrooms, and the office,” Boman said. “If Principal Hekkema or a dean is in the building, we will stop to talk to them so the families can meet some of the staff. The length of the tour is really determined by the parents, some had lots of questions and others just wanted to see what was new.”
 A man holding a power drill.
Dressed like a construction worker, Admissions Representative Bruce Boman took the “Bob the Builder” theme to heart with his hard hat, construction checklist, and drill.

Doyle and Boman had staff and parents volunteer their time to help with the tours. They brought in props to continue with the “Bob the Builder” theme such as a drill, a hammer, a tape measurer, a tool belt, and neon yellow safety vests.
 A woman holing a power drill.Yolanda Johnson, parent volunteer, handed out signs for families to put in their yards.

If parents had paperwork they needed to submit, they could bring it in with them and the office staff could help them.
“The tour also allows me to explain what make Vista and NHA unique,” Boman said. “I talk about the Moral Focus words that we have on our walls and what Moral Focus is and how it shapes our curriculum. I also talk about the strong focus we place on math and English language arts. I make sure parents know we have full-time teachers for physical education, art and music.”

A woman holding a power drill and holding a tool bag.
Office administrator Rosie Diaz is ready to get to work at Vista doing tours.

So, as the show’s theme song goes, “Can we fix it?”, everyone responds with “Yes we can!” Just in time for the first day of school!
Vista Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes over 95 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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