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After-School Programs Throw Halloween Party

By Georgia N. Alexakis

Halloween came to the Yard a few days early this year, courtesy of some eager trick-or-treaters and their Harvard hosts.

About 60 kids from the Keylatch and Chinatown After School Programs of Phillip Brooks House (PBH) attended a Halloween party at Kirkland House, trick-or-treated in the Yard dorms and explored a haunted house in Annenberg Hall, before heading home with bags laden with candy.

"The kids got the chance to face paint, tell ghost stories and go on scary rides at the party," said Edy Y. Kim '97, one of the event's organizers. "It was a little makeshift, but the kids seemd to like it, and when it comes right down to it, they were most excited about getting a lot of candy."

The Chinese Students' Association organized the door-to-door distribution of candy by first-year students. One organizer, Matthew W. Chan '99, estimated that about 250 rooming groups participated in the trick-or-treating.

Thayer roommates Katie R. Ryan '00 and Marylin M. Sanchez '00 they passed out five bags of candy to at least 25 visitors.

"[The trick-or-treaters] seemed really excited," Ryan said. "They were running through the halls and pounding on the doors."

"We were happy to participate," Sanchez said, "It didn't hurt us and it made them happy."

PBH's Chinatown Committee organizes the Chinatown After School Program, through which Harvard students visit the Boston neighborhood three times weekly to tutor children of working parents.

The program has sponsored Halloween festivities for 13 years, Kim said. The program invited other PBH after-school groups to join in the Halloween activities, but only Keylatch members participated in the event.

The older teenage students in the program were responsible for creating the haunted house in Annenberg Hall.

"We didn't have much, but the kids enjoyed it," said 13-year-old Peggy Wong, who planned the haunted house with 10 other teens who said they felt too old to trick-or-treat, but still wanted to participate in the festivities.

"All we needed were a few masks, some decorations and dim lights," she said. "Most of the kids were pretty young so they were scared."

"I like going trick-or-treating because I crave going to new places and meeting new people," 10-year-old Roger Lee said. "The haunted house makes my heart pound, and the candy is fun to get because my mom doesn't usually but it."

Chinatown after-school counselors said that the day's events helped meet some of the program's goals.

"It gives the kids a chance to do something outside of Chinatown, a chance to run around and have some fun," Kerlen J. Chee '98 said.

"The freshman seemed very happy to be giving out candy, and the kids were very excited," Susan J. Koo '00 said. "Even when some of the people ran out of candy, the kids didn't seem to mind.

Chinatown after-school counselors said that the day's events helped meet some of the program's goals.

"It gives the kids a chance to do something outside of Chinatown, a chance to run around and have some fun," Kerlen J. Chee '98 said.

"The freshman seemed very happy to be giving out candy, and the kids were very excited," Susan J. Koo '00 said. "Even when some of the people ran out of candy, the kids didn't seem to mind.

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