Boyertown high school students add holiday spirit to downtown businessses

Students set up window displays in local businesses.
Thomas Dareneau, Boyertown drawing and animation teacher, with students involved in the event (in no particular order): Shy Zirkle, Julia Rocereta, Danielle Kutt, Devon Stackonis, Lily Weber, Gabrielle Greenawalk, Amanda Balducci and Madison Giacherio.

Several students recently added their own holiday joy to the main street of Boyertown just in time for some of the town’s biggest festivities.

Boyertown high school students set up window displays in 15 downtown businesses on Friday, Dec. 6, as a ‘The Letters to Santa Tour.’

This project was developed in coordination with Building a Better Boyertown, Studio B and the Boyertown Area Senior High School.

Charles Haddad, vice president of Building a Better Boyertown, spearheaded and coordinated the event with Thomas Dareneau, Boyertown Drawing and Animation teacher, to decorate store fronts.


Dareneau says this project is based off of the ‘The Love Letters Tour’ created by Stephen Powers and the Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia — a tour inspired by a story about a boy who painted messages along the train route of his love interest.

Boyertown students were reportedly inspired by this story and decided share their holiday spirit throughout town through their artwork.

“School students really took this to heart,” said Jake Lea, president of Building a Better Boyertown.

Working out of Studio B, students organized in groups to go set up the displays in the various locations. The paintings were prepared onto clear plastic sheets and were placed in the windows on Friday evening, preceding Boyertown’s Holiday House Tour and Chillin’ on Main.

Members of Building a Better Boyertown wanted to make sure that the main street was as festive as can be and were thrilled to involve Boyertown students. Many of the high students also volunteered at Chillin’ on Main as various characters.

The high school students with works on display include Shy Zirkle, Julia Rocereta, Danielle Kutt, Devon Stackonis, Lily Weber, Gabrielle Greenawalk, Amanda Balducci and Madison Giacherio.

“All of the volunteers worked really well and hard together,” said Dareneau, also stating that it took about three to fweeks from start to finish preparing for the event. “We’ve easily put in over 200 man hours. At least 20 kids were helping—after school and during study halls.”

In addition the window paintings, several of the students who participated in the event have some their other works on display at Studio B as part of a small works show.

About the Author

Rebecca Blanchard

Rebecca won't hesitate to tell you that she has enjoyed writing throughout her entire life. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she graduated from the professional writing program of Kutztown University in 2012. Rebecca joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in July of 2012 as editor of The Boyertown Area Times following her internship with the newspaper. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling and cooking gluten-free foods. Reach the author at or follow Rebecca on Twitter: @boyertowntimes.