Halloween time

Area students to celebrate fall season with activities

It’s that time of year when yellow, orange and red displace summer green. Long sleeves become fashionable again and new school shoes, pinched or stiff at first, become more comfortable. Youngsters in area schools stand ready to have some educational fun as the air turns cool and Halloween lurks just around the corner.

Students at Ashkar Elementary School in the East Lycoming School District might even spy their principal walking the halls costumed as a pirate to reinforce the school’s nautical educational theme for the academic year: “Anchored in Amazing, Tied to Success.”

It all starts as a celebration of autumn, with “Fall into Breakfast” on Oct. 16 and 17, said Ashkar principal Sherry Cowburn. The event gives students an opportunity to bring their dads or a special friend to school, a natural outgrowth of a similar event for grandparents traditionally held in September, she noted.

The biggest fundraiser of the school year, Cowburn said, will be a pirate-themed Race for Education called “Ride the Wave” Oct. , when students will run laps around the track after collecting pledges to raise funds for a new playground.

“It’s exciting,” Cowburn enthused. Extending the pirate theme, the principal has agreed to “walk the plank” into a dunk tank if her students reach their fundraising goal.

On Fall Fun Day, Oct. 26, students will be treated to hayrides and an opportunity to make scarecrows in their homerooms, the principal explained. The school PTA will assist with those activities.

In each of the 25 rooms, students will exercise their imaginations to choose a theme and then create a scarecrow to illustrate it. Themes from past Fall Fun Days include Penn State or Spartan football and one memorable scarecrow was “outfitted to look like the gym teacher,” Cowburn reported.

The finished scarecrows will be placed in front of local businesses for the entire Hughesville community to enjoy.

Students at Schick Elementary School in the Loyalsock Township School District are looking forward to Family Fun Night Saturday, Oct. 27, as their way to celebrate the changing of the seasons, according to Shannon Butters, PTO president. The Halloween-themed event is a free of charge dance, complete with disc jockey. Costumes are encouraged but not required, said Butters, who expects a crowd of 300 or more students and family members to show up for an evening of seasonal fun at school.

Pumpkin painting and pumpkin dipping have been popular activities at previous fun nights, said Butters. The dipping process involves filling a container with lukewarm water and then adding drops of different colored nail polish to the surface. After the pigment spreads out, pumpkins are dipped into the water for the colors to swirl onto the pumpkins which are then set aside to dry.

Young students can also enjoy a face painting station.

Food treats, said Butters, include pizza, snacks and walking tacos, a fun treat created by smashing corn chips in their bag and then adding the rest of the taco ingredients. The bag bowl can then be carried on the move while the snacker digs in with a fork.

A shuttle running between the middle school and Schick will help with transportation in the Loyalsock area.

“I like to see students having a good time with their families,” said Butters as she looks forward to this year’s Family Fun Night.

In the Williamsport Area School District, students and staff at Lycoming Valley Intermediate School (LVIS, pronounced “Elvis”) are getting ready for a 5K Color Run fundraiser called “Color Me LVIS Spooktacular” to be held Oct. 20 at the high school cross country course. The event is co-sponsored by Jackson Primary School in the city. Runners are encouraged to “wear their coolest tutus or Halloween costumes,” said Michelle March, LVIS PTO president, who noted the event is the biggest fundraiser of the year and benefits LVIS and Jackson students.

On-site activities in the “Kid Zone” include face painting and pumpkin painting. Halloween candy lovers can also participate in a free community event called “Trunk or Treat,” where participants fill the trunks of their cars with sweet treats for a twist on traditional trick or treating, said March.

During the school day Friday, Oct. 26, LVIS students will enjoy an afternoon of activity stations organized by the PTO and the Schoolwide Positive Behavior Team as a reward for students consistently meeting the expectations of teachers and staff, said Cassandra Clausen, LVIS health and physical education teacher.

Stations include a short movie, pumpkin decorating with markers, a dance with themed music, and fall activities in classrooms with a snack provided. “We have implemented this event every year since becoming an intermediate school and it is enjoyed by all,” Clausen reported. “It is something we all look forward to each year.”

Many local schools offer similar fall activities for their students. A walk through any school district neighborhood at this time of year or a visit to a school may reveal scarecrow greetings at the door and principals, staff, and students going all in on the tricks and treats of the season.