Archive for Thursday, November 8, 2007

High school offers kids safe, alternative Halloween activity

November 8, 2007

With a timid start, 3-year-old Kimberly Morris entered the dark tunnel.

Tree limbs hung down over her head and spider webs covering the walls caught on the fabric of her Pebbles Flintstone costume. Encouragement from her older brothers rang from the end of the tunnel, and with the prospect of more candy ahead, Kimberly bravely continued on.

Scenes like this from the Forbidden Forest in the Harry Potter books and several other popular children's characters came to life Halloween night during Lansing High School's annual Trick-or-Treat for Kids.

Hallways decorated in pirate, Barbie, Lego and tropical themes welcomed area youths for a safer alternative for trick-or-treating than walking around neighborhoods.

The Morris family, including Kimberly and her two brothers, Cameron, 9, and Carson, 4, has made the Trick-or-Treat for Kids event at the high school a tradition for the past several years. Their mother, Karen Morris, said she liked the idea having a safe alternative that was a "good family environment."

Morris said getting the high school students involved with younger children in the area was beneficial for both groups. She said she also liked that the set-up wasn't too scary for the younger kids and was focused on fun, recognizable themes.

Each year the Leadership group at LHS works for weeks preparing the event. From publicity to decorations to the actually act of passing out candy, the students put in a lot of time preparing for the trick-or treaters.

Ben Doll, Leadership adviser, estimated about 250 children attended the three-hour event this year. He said that number was a little less than last year, which he said was probably due to that evening's nice weather.

Nonetheless, Doll said the event was a success. He said he attributes the event's popularity to its uniqueness compared to other Halloween activities. He said it's more than just passing out candy; it's about the high school students interacting with the children.

From the games to the familiar themes in each hallway, Doll said the event was designed to be entertaining for the children and a good opportunity for community service from the Leadership members.

This was the first year for Sandy Wood, of Lansing, to take her son, Jacob Wood, 7, to the event. Jacob's sister was one of the students volunteering at the event, so the family wanted to come down and see her in action.

Besides the safe atmosphere, Wood said the event was a great way for older children to get to know the younger children of the community. She said it's always positive when younger children get to see the good influence of the student volunteers.

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