Email banner
Fall 2013

NDNU Community Helps Urban Kids Celebrate Halloween

SOC2519 Streetwise Sociology

Streetwise Sociology is designed to familiarize the student with the inner city culture by
becoming a part of it. We do this by participating in projects that benefit the community
and, in so doing, learn from individuals who live and work there. The goal is to use
sociological theory and practice to understand and contribute to the resolution of urban
social problems. Instruction involves on-campus classes and workshops and off-campus
community activities. Current projects include Halloween in the Tenderloin, College Night
in the Tenderloin, and Miracle on 6th Street (a Christmas event for residents in a hotel for
the formerly homeless).

Dozens of ghosts, superheroes and little princesses swarmed the Tenderloin Children's Playground off of Ellis St. in San Francisco on Halloween night in search of candy, games and a safe place for trick or treating.

Students, faculty, staff, and alums from NDNU joined the Boys and Girls Club, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and local residents at the Halloween in the Tenderloin Festival, an annual event created to be a safe place for children in the Tenderloin District to celebrate Halloween.


"This is one of Tenderloin's annual event that brings together the community, kids, families and the SFPD," said Sergeant Patrick Kwan, SFPD Tenderloin Police Station. "The SFPD family is always trying to find ways to interact with the community in a positive light and this event allows us to do exactly that."

According to a grassroots organization, The Tenderloin Safe Passage Program, an estimated 4,000 children live in only a half square mile.

"The Tenderloin neighborhood is home to the densest concentration of children and families in San Francisco," according to the programs' community website. "However, when these children leave their homes they face a neighborhood with constant threat of violence."


At the Halloween festival, neighborhood kids had a chance to play games, have their face painted, carve pumpkins, show off costumes and win prizes. They were also escorted by our volunteers to designated 'safe' homes and businesses who volunteered to participate in the annual trick-or-treat festivities.

Dr. Don Stannard-Friel, NDNU professor of sociology and anthropology brings his Streetwise Sociology class, an approved community engagement course in sociology, to the event every year. The class is designed to give students the opportunity to understand those who are less fortunate and the urban social problems they face. The goal of the class is to learn the issues of the inner city and engage with the community in a safe environment.


Back to newsletter home


The Notre Dame de Namur University Alumni Newsletter is published by the Alumni Relations Office.
Elizabeth Valente, Director of Alumni Relations, Editor.

Send ideas or feedback to

Make A Gift

Explore Engage Reconnect


Notre Dame de Namur University
1500 Ralston Avenue
Belmont, CA 94002

Alumni Relations Office