Arts & Culture

‘Halloween on Wriston’ thrills local children

Greek houses host costumed students from William D’Abate Elementary School

Staff Writer
Friday, October 30, 2015

Wriston Quadrangle was abuzz with the excitement and energy of students from William D’Abate Elementary School, as they trick-or-treated at all the Greek houses in all kinds of creative costumes.

As dark storm clouds and rain descended on College Hill, young children from William D’Abate Elementary School screamed and giggled at “Halloween on Wriston” Wednesday night. Almost 100 children were bussed over and split into five groups before rotating through the events hosted at each of the University’s Greek houses.

“Halloween on Wriston,” thrown by the Greek Council and the Brown Elementary Afterschool Mentoring program, provides a way of building a relationship between Brown and the surrounding community while helping underprivileged children, said Alex Palabrica ’17, philanthropy chair for Greek Council.

Greek Council is “making an initiative (to) expand the Greek community’s involvement in Providence and in the community in general,” Palabrica said. He added that he is pushing for Greek Council to engage in projects that involve “more human-to-human interaction.”

Palabrica said he focuses on community service more than his predecessors, who put a stronger emphasis on fundraising.

Maria Racinos, art teacher at D’Abate, helped supervise the activities in the Sigma Chi House along with BEAM volunteers and fraternity members.

“The kids need to get out of school a little more, and they were happy to take a field trip,” Racinos said. “Candy is their life, so I think this event is very important, and also it’s fun for them.”

One of Racinos’ fourth-graders, Lindsey Calderon, said her favorite activity was the donuts-on-a-string eating contest. “We got to eat them, and I got to eat three,” she said.

Jack Ruddell ’17, who ran the Sigma event, led a game of charades for Calderon’s group. When one team gave the correct answer — “pirate!” — Ruddell threw candy into the hoard of candy-seeking, costume-clad kids. A brief tussle ensued before a girl in a pink cheetah costume held it up in her fist and proudly walked back to her chair.

Calderon was then called to the front and given a prompt. She started walking around in circles with her hands clasped in front of her.

“Car?” asked a Power Ranger. The audience was stumped.

Eventually one BEAM volunteer offered a helpful hint: “It looks like she’s flying on a broom.”

Calderon laughed as everyone jumped up, screaming, “Witch!”

Ruddell said he was surprised by the response some of the charade prompts received. “A funny thing was, there were a lot of pop culture things from our generation that we had in the charades cards, like Superman, that these kids didn’t even know,” he said.

Francis Bogan ’18, a BEAM volunteer who teaches an after school art class at D’Abate, said he enjoys “teaching the kids, interacting with them and getting to know them.”

Bogan said a few children have told him, “I want to go to Brown now!”