Students volunteer to entertain children at Kidsfest

About 30 children filled the Hippodrome Saturday dressed as Spider Man, Disney characters and ninjas to celebrate Halloween a few days early with student-volunteers.

Kidsfest, an annual Halloween party hosted by GW’s Neighbors Project, a community service group on campus and the Residence Hall Association, allowed youngsters throughout the D.C. area to make costume masks, participate in arts and crafts projects and trick-or-treat in residence halls.

Throughout the day children ages 4 to 6 visited activity booths sponsored by student organizations and supervised by Neighbors volunteers that allowed them to paint Halloween bags, make jewelry and get their faces painted. Many of the volunteers were also involved in the Jumpstart Program, which pairs students with pre-school children of low-income families for one-to-one support with school work.

Freshman Cielo Villasenor, who volunteered Saturday and also works with Jumpstart, said she enjoyed watching the children have a good time throughout the day.

“It’s great to be able to combine learning and fun for these kids,” she said. “The smile on a child’s face is the reward of volunteering.”

The afternoon’s most popular guest was a magician who kept the kids in awe by pulling coins out from behind their ears and pulling items from his hat throughout his half-hour show.

Elizabeth Garber, the GW Office of Community Service’s coordinator for pre-K and elementary education, said she thought the day went smoothly.

“It’s important for all kids to be able to celebrate,” she said. “A lot of kids have working parents, and so we picked them up at their homes so they could have a chance to celebrate too.”

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