PNW BOCES Hosts A Very Special Halloween



October 31, 2018

The School Services Building at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES was invaded Wednesday by ghosts, soldiers, witches, superheroes, princesses and more for the annual Halloween Parade. The visitors, all students at the Pines Bridge and Walden Schools on the BOCES Yorktown campus, were treated to a wonderland of fanciful worlds including a major league sports arena, an Arctic Zoo and a Superhero World.
 
The annual event provides a safe environment for trick or treating while allowing BOCES staff and faculty the opportunity to show how much they appreciate the students. Pines Bridge and Walden Schools serve students with a variety of special needs.
 
Halloween at the Walden and Pines Bridge Schools, however, involves more than just dressing up and getting candy. The celebration started last week with a schoolwide pumpkin-carving event. Occupational therapist Jessica Scully worked with classroom teachers on the activity, which was designed to be a fun way for students to work on a variety of social and motor skills.
 
“I wanted to bring the school together in an activity that gave the students a sense of pride and community,” Scully said. In some classes, students helped design and carve, turning the exercise into a functional activity that involved using fine motor skills, visual skills, attention and tool use.  In other classes, students decorated with stickers and paint, which involved many of the same skills.
 
Walden teacher Lysette Seedorf said her class first voted on what type of Jack o Lantern to create as another way for students to practice social skills surrounding group decisions and working cooperatively. The Darth Vader pumpkin they carved as a class was one of the standouts of the event.
 
Students had fun on Friday viewing all the pumpkins during a Spooktacular Dance held in the Walden gym. The pumpkins, lined up around tables of Halloween treats and cookies, included traditional Jack o Lanterns, super heroes and even a princess. Many students proudly found their class pumpkins, pointing them out to staff and visitors.
 
“It was hard to make, but it was fun,” said Walden student Ruben Mojica.