This week several campus and community organizations — such as Storke Family Housing, Associated Students Community Affairs Board, the Family Literacy Program and Gamma Phi Beta — have hosted Halloween-themed events to give the children of Isla Vista a safe place to celebrate Halloween.
Child care organization, Storke Family Housing, will hold a “Parents’ Night Out” this week in which volunteers from CAB or in Greek life will help students with young children by watching over their kids while parents study for midterms. Last Thursday, the volunteers planned a “Frightful Festivities” event, in which 40 children participated in a scavenger hunt, pumpkin decorating, games and a clown.
A.S. Childcare Director and fourth-year psychology major Jessica Krachman said the event “got the kids excited for Halloween” and “got them in the spirit.”
Meanwhile, CAB’s Homeless/Hunger program has transformed Santa Barbara’s Transition House into a Halloween-themed house that helps homeless families become accustomed to living in a permanent residence and building life skills.
Houseless / Hunger Coordinator Bridgette Quan, fourth-year psychology major, said CAB is helping the Transition House host a trick-or-treating event for its residents and helping decorate the Transition House with pumpkins and lights for the occasion.
“What they do for the kids is really great, and so we asked how we students could help out. [The kids] don’t get very many opportunities to do things like this,” Quan said. “Our goal is to give the children the best Halloween yet.”
In addition, the Family Literacy Program, which typically tutors around 20 children from Isla Vista Elementary School every Thursday, will be holding a Halloween party today. Children are encouraged to come in costume and will have the opportunity to decorate pumpkins, do word searches and eat candy and festive cookies.
FLP coordinator and fourth-year sociology and global studies double major Nataly Alvarado said the FLP wanted to keep children safe on Halloween.
“I feel like UCSB students kind of take over I.V.,” Alvarada said, “So I think it’s important for us to provide these activities for them so they can go out,”
Gamma Phi Beta is also hosting a Halloween party at its sorority house on 890 Camino Pescadero, from 3 to 4 p.m., where children can have their faces painted, play musical chairs, trick-or-treat door-to-door through the house and walk through a haunted house.
Nikka Kurland, philanthropy chair of Gamma Phi Beta and third-year economics and psychology double major, said the sorority is heavily involved with the Isla Vista Youth Project and holds the needs of I.V. children close to heart.
“At our local chapter Gamma Phi Beta here at UCSB, we really focus on working with the kids of Isla Vista Elementary,” Kurland said.
Rachel Donley, public relations vice president of Gamma Phi Beta and fourth-year communications major, said the sorority wanted to give the children of I.V. a fun and safe Halloween experience. Donley also said the festival will be “a cool opportunity for the kids of I.V. to be able to come inside of a sorority house here, or be more involved with us students on campus.”
“I think they see some of the partying and all of that,” Donley said. “I think this is a good opportunity to give them a glimpse of college students in a relaxed, fun environment.”
A version of this article appeared on page 6 of the Thursday, October 31, 2013 print edition of the Daily Nexus.