Dress-down day otted with orange and black

KEKAHA — Only three students “forgot” that Monday was a dress-down day at St. Theresa’s School.

Camille Hesapene, the school’s secretary, said, “Considering we have 162 students, that’s not bad. The students, who have a strong uniform code on other days, really enjoy these dress-down days.”

The school leaders took advantage of Halloween falling on a school day to ask the students to dress in either orange or black, and that request was honored, as orange T-shirts dotted the campus that came alive following lunch Monday.

Hesapene, who says she remembers this annual activity for as long as she’s been at the school, said that the Halloween fun afternoon is the signature event of the school’s eighth grade, with Walter Souza serving as the coordinator and advisor.

Members of the student body are broken down into teams that bear names relating to Halloween, and during the course of the afternoon take their turns visiting the various game stations set up around campus.

“But, we have 14 teams this year,” she chirped. “At one time, when the school’s enrollment was down, we only had five teams,” she said as the squeals of delight rang in the background.

Each team is made up of at least one student from each of the grade levels from pre-school to grade seven, to give parity to the teams.

Following the team members’ tour through the activity stations, the eighth-grade monitors engaged in their own unique bobbing for apples competition.

Find the ring (in the school’s preschool sandbox), penny find, paper-cup relay, sponge relay, ring the pumpkin, clown toss, and more kept the students busy, with squeals of delight punctuating the afternoon as eighth-grade station monitors took advantage of the water-based stations to “spray” the competitors.

Hesapene explained that the goal was to accumulate points by “winning” at the various stations, and at the end, the points would be tallied to determine an overall winning team.

She also pointed out that there were several features added for this year’s activity. The first was a pumpkin-carving contest that drew 31 entries from student carvers with the judging being done by the school’s staff and parents.

The other was a door-decorating contest where each homeroom was decorated with a theme of the times, with secret judges casting their ballots for the winning entry.

Hesapene was pleased with the overall participation, noting that it was good that leaders of more organizations are doing things to keep Halloween a safe and fun event for the youngsters.

“We even had some of the students attend the Boys & Girls Club event over the week-end,” she said, pointing out that fliers for the event were distributed to their school.

Sister Elizabeth Ann, the school’s principal, was obviously pleased with the students’ participation at the event.

“I have to give the class with the highest number of orange-or- black-dressed students a prize, but at this rate, I don’t know,” she said as she watched the activity of students. “I might end up having to give the whole school.”

Resigned to this decision, Sister Elizabeth Ann lost little time joining her charges as she donned a clown mask, and, armed with a camera, dove into the midst of the activity.

As the sun set on Halloween, Hesapene is already anticipating the next event, Thanksgiving, and perhaps a father-daughter dance, or was that for Christmas?

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