Halloween on the Hill brings together students, local children
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 15:10
Halloween spirit inundated campus on Saturday as the annual Halloween on the Hill event drew around 160 local children for a series of student-run activities.
The day, according to co-coordinators and seniors Nicole Byer and Alexis Donnaruma, was the culmination of a month’s worth of planning and the work of over 100 student volunteers.
Halloween on the Hill has been a campus tradition for over 10 years and is organized each year through the Leonard Carmichael Society (LCS). Children in kindergarten through second grade were invited to attend this year’s event, according to Byer.
“The goal of the day is to bring the Tufts community closer together with the Medford and Somerville community,” Byer said. “Because we are involving kindergarteners, first graders and second graders with college students, it is sort of like bridging the two communities.”
About 100 students attended from a group of 12 elementary schools in the Medford/Somerville area, in addition to 60 students from Boston, who were brought to campus by the Tufts Asian American Alliance, Donnaruma said.
Student groups organized arts and crafts and performances all over campus that the kids partook in throughout the day. Group leaders led the children to Hill Hall and Houston Hall for trick-or-treating and crafts, a haunted house put together by Theta Chi and games sponsored by Delta Tau Delta, Byer said.
“Working with the kids was extremely rewarding,” Talia Hulkower, a freshman volunteer, said. “I could tell how ecstatic they were as they grabbed my hand and practically dragged me from station to station.”
Donnaruma explained that children were dressed in costumes and placed into trick-or-treating groups upon check-in, as it was difficult to organize the groups beforehand.
“You never know how many of the kids who registered will show up,” she said.
Donnaruma added that a new online registration process contributed to increased efficiency of the event. The change was inspired by the registration process for Kid’s Day, another event organized by LCS that Donnaruma and Byer also help coordinate.
“We dropped off flyers at the schools with information on how to find us online and a few permission slips in case there were kids who didn’t have access to Internet,” Byer said.
In years past, students were pressed for time to attend all of the planned activities, so the event was extended by an hour, allowing for some downtime, according to Byer.
“I think that some of the best moments of the day were during the downtime,” Hulkower said. “The kids loved playing Duck, Duck, Goose, freeze tag and Red Light, Green Light as the day went on. It helped bring the kids closer together, and helped the leaders get to know them better, building important relationships that made the scheduled activities that much more exciting.”
Byer and Donnaruma estimated that over 100 students assisted in the event in some capacity, whether it was leading a group or setting up the decorations. They solicited volunteers through in-person outreach as well as online advertisements on Facebook and TuftsLife.
“At the LCS general interest meeting we have a table where students can sign up if they want any information or any involvement in it,” Donnaruma said, adding that they also reach out to student organizations that want to get involved.
Coordinators and leaders regarded the event as a success.
“I definitely hope to return in future years,” Hulkower said. “Halloween on the Hill seems to be a perfect way to mesh a love of children, with a love of service, with a love of Halloween.”