GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (GRPS) — What started as a fun idea in 2016 has now become an annual tradition and favorite moment of the holiday season.

Each year “Future Redhawks” who attend schools that feed into Union High School gather for an opportunity to connect with the high-schoolers and get a taste of their future.

“We're influencing the younger generation,” said Kenra Ivy, a freshman at Union.

The first graders paired up with high-schoolers to decorate cookies, make crafts, and share in the festivities of the holiday season.

"We also do it for our students so that they can be seen in a different light," said Dana Bachelder, an assistant principal at Union.

More than 250 first graders from Burton Elementary, Harrison Park Academy, Shawmut Hills Academy, Sibley Elementary and Stocking Elementary participated in the event.