WSU's YMCA program hosts Halloween party for elementary students

Frankenstein’s monster, a witch and Mike Wazowski from “Monsters Inc.” are among the characters made into lunch-bag puppets that line the counter in Weber State University’s Community Involvement Center. The crafts are favors to be handed out to students at a Halloween party for elementary school students held by WSU’s YMCA After-School Program.

The YMCA After-School Program is part of the Volunteer Involvement Program, which is run by the WSU Student Association. The program offers after-school homework help to students who might otherwise be left alone after school.

“The YMCA After-School Program is an after-school program for kids that goes through different elementary schools throughout the Weber County District,” said Alexis Holbert, YMCA After-School Program chair. “It’s a program to help them get their homework done. It’s pretty much a place that they can go to and be safe until their parents can pick them up after school. They play and learn to be respectful.”

Holbert arranged the Halloween party, which will be held on Halloween day at James Madison Elementary School in Ogden. The party will include dinner, games and activities for both the parents and students. Children will be able to wear their costumes to the event.

To prepare for the event, the YMCA After-School Program teamed up with the Volunteer Involvement Program’s Done in a Day program. Done in a Day is a program that meets every Thursday and is open for students to volunteer on small service projects. For the last two weeks, Done in a Day has had students making crafts such as finger puppets, ghost suckers and lunch-bag puppets to hand out.

Done in a Day chair Madison LaMelle said she feels it is important to help make Halloween special for the elementary students who are part of the YMCA After-School Program.

“A lot of the students are at poverty level, so we try to make it really nice and special for them,” LaMelle said.

Done in a Day volunteer Morgan Kemp, a sophomore, agreed.

“From what I understand, these children don’t have a lot,” Kemp said. “I know how hard it is with a family that grows up with nothing, and so you want to help those out so they can have a good Halloween. Anything small — it brings the light on their face.”

The YMCA After-School Program hopes parties like this will allow the young students to have fun and help them stay focused in school.

“They don’t always have the best life — it’s hard for them to be able to focus on good things when all this bad is surrounding them,” Holbert said. “(The party will) have dinner, and crafts and games. They can come and dress up and have a good time before they go trick-or-treating.”

For more information on volunteering for the party or to volunteer for the YMCA After-School Program, students can e-mail Holbert at [email protected]