Learning about U.S. holidays, volunteering and interacting with American school children all fulfill our program goal of creating experiences where participants can learn about American culture. Below Nabila Ghias writes about an experience that included all three of these elements when she describes her experience volunteering at a Halloween festival at a local elementary school. Nabila Ghias is a Northwest Community students from Pakistan who is studying business at Edmonds Community College.
On the Oct. 25, twelve NWCCI students (including myself) volunteered at Cedar Way Elementary’s Harvest Festival. I was not familiar with Halloween so this was a very interesting day for me. My activity was “pin the nose on the pumpkin”. We blindfolded the children and gave them a nose to pin on the pumpkin’s face. I also helped Fransiska and Ana with their activity, “the bone drop”, which was fun.
The thing that I loved the most was dressing up for the festival. I spent hours planning this day and it was worth every moment. Another thing I loved was helping out with activities and spending time with the kids at the school. At first I was a bit worried about the fact that our scary make-up was going to scare the little children. What surprised me the most was that the children were even scarier than us.
It is really fun to have a Halloween festival and I will definitely take home what I learned and maybe have my own festival. I learned a lot at the festival. I saw how the parents motivated their children and how they encouraged their children not to give up. Even when the kids didn’t pin the nose on the picture, their parents still told them not to give up. It was amazing to see that even the younger children that couldn’t even walk did activities and had loads of fun… It was a great way to meet new people and interact with young children. All that positive energy made me feel so proud of myself and it encouraged me to try even harder.
I am sure all the NWCCI students had just as much fun as I did and we will take these memories and use them as life lessons. Not to give up and also to appreciate life to the fullest are the most important lessons I’ve learned.