November 3, 2011 | Uncategorized
By the time CUNY Prep opened its doors for the seventh annual Halloween Carnival on Monday afternoon, families from the surrounding community were already lined up halfway around the block.
“We don’t even need to advertise it any more,” says humanities teacher Renee Shaw-Payne. “The neighborhood really looks forward to this event each year.”
The carnival is completely designed and orchestrated by CUNY Prep students, with the help of faculty and staff. They offer everything from face-painting and games for the younger children, to a highly theatrical haunted house for the older ones – complete with fog machines, sound effects and some very realistic looking ghouls.
“This event allows the surrounding community to interact with our students and helps debunk the stereotype of out of school youth.,” says Frantz Barbier, math teacher and primary carnival coordinator. ”It gives students a chance to say ‘yes, I am out of school, but the impression you have of me is not true,’” says Barbier.
Students also earn community service credits for their participation in the carnival. In addition to all of the traditional activities rooms, this year’s event also featured a costume contest and fashion show and a dance performance that students rehearsed several weeks in advance.
“It was such a fun experience,” says math teacher Cynthia Bell, who celebrated her first Halloween at CUNY Prep this year. ” But it is also a great opportunity for students and staff alike to build a connection and sense of responsibility towards the community.”