By Julia Tibert
AmeriCorps member on the CSX Transportation Kimball Elementary School team

Ghosts and ghouls gliding through the halls,
Spiders sliding off the walls.
Witches swapping recipes there,
Cooking in cauldrons with eye of newt and mad dog’s hair.
A severed hand inside of a glove,
And it smells just like bl—no wait, that’s popcorn.

It definitely smells and looks like popcorn.

This week, the classrooms of Kimball Elementary School are filled with candy treats and googly-eyed monsters! This year at Kimball, we decided to turn the lights off (figuratively) and host a spooky Halloween Monster Bash for our scholars. A creepy carnival with so much to do, it’s scary!

One of the first things one of my students said to me at breakfast in the morning was, “So, the Halloween party is at afterschool today, right?” It was then that I knew it was going to be a brilliant day. My whole team, led by my fantastic afterschool coordinator and teammate, Elmer Orellana, had been working hard to make the afternoon special for our students and it was so wonderful to know that they were just as excited as we were for the fun that arrived.

It is hard not to wonder, as you sit stuffing popcorn into the fingers of plastic gloves or crumbling up bags of Oreos to make fake dirt, if your event really will get your students excited. As a team, we poured over small details and logistics all week and at a certain points, you forget the goal of the event, which was to make some fun for our students and have some fun ourselves. But at the end of the day, I think what got them the most excited is all of the excitement we poured in. Whether it’s coming up with fun little puns for your prize tickets, or just listening to some Fetty Wap while you prep the crafts, as City Year AmeriCorps members we have to remember that all the work we put in and all of the ways we keep our planning fun will show through to our students when the event finally comes.

Seeing my students pretend that their chocolate pudding really was full of dirt and watching their faces as the balloon in our scary science experiment expanded really made my day perfect. Their laughter and excitement that entire afternoon is why we hold events like this. “Students first; collaboration always.” The team coming together to get everything done for our spooktacular celebration is why our students were able to have such a fantastic time. This was the first large event my team put together this year at Kimball and the reaction from our students is why I cannot wait until our next. Hopefully, our scholars can’t either!

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