Chaberek is a centre for disadvantaged children located in the center of Warsaw. For some years now, there is a ASW high school club that is engaged in helping Chaberek in various ways. The main goal of this ASW group is to help the children expand their skill-set. This mostly comes in the form of teaching them English.
This year the collaboration between Chaberek centre and ASW begun with a Halloween themed event, organised by the ASW students on the premises of the school, on the 31st of October. The High School ELL classroom was transformed into a haunted house with all the appropriate activities - pumpkin carving, and how otherwise? - Trick-or-Treating!
The "horrific" items from the haunted house took the ASW students two days to prepare, but it was worth the effort. Imagine - darkness; a kid enters the classroom. Catatonic LEDs flashes induce a chilling sensation. He or she is asked to put his/her hand into a ball full of... squishy something - brains, intestines? - No! Just boiled spaghetti! Then, another ball with... human eyeballs? No - just peeled grapes! Lots of giggling and yucks!
Next thing - pumpkin carving. A real trip into the contemporary American culture. The Chaberek kids were totally submersed into this. As the carving went on, the ASW students taught Halloween-themed English words. Some of these were pretty simple, but definitely they will remain forever engraved in their minds - "pumpkin" or "candy".
Finally, here comes Trick-or-treating! For those of you unfamiliar with the American culture, Trick-or-Treating involves children wearing scary costumes and going around streets to collect candy from the neighbours. The Chaberek kids were well prepared! Nobody would want to meet the characters that they were dressed into in a dream! The ASW Chaberek club thought that this event could also re-promote the cultural integration aspect for the children. The native speakers among us claimed that It was really cool hearing students from a foreign culture saying "TRICK-OR-TREAT!" or "THANK YOU!"
Overall, the event turned out to be a great success and a great start to the club for the year. The Chaberek kids did seem to enjoy the idea of the haunted house a lot. Goal achieved! Everybody had some real fun! The ASW club received very positive feedback for the event since the children surely enjoy it, as well as could develop a learning outcome (learning English).
The ASW club desires more such meetings and hopes that children at Chaberek feel the same way.
Text by Siddharth M.
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