Halloween in the Tenderloin, Oct. 31

Belmont, CA, October 25, 2007 — More than 400 children from San Francisco’s Tenderloin District will be provided with a safe environment to enjoy Halloween this year. Notre Dame de Namur University’s Streetwise Sociology class will be working with its community partners, the Tenderloin Children’s Playground, the Boys and Girls Club, and SFPD, organizing its 11th annual Halloween in the Tenderloin on October 31st from 4:30-7:30 P.M. at the Children’s Playground.

The program is intended to give kids up to age 12 and their parents a safe and healthy place to have fun and trick or treat on Halloween. Pie eating contests, face painting, and pumpkin carving, along with other games and prizes will be among the highlights of the afternoon. Sponsors, which include Hilton Hotels, will be providing food and entertainment for the evening. Students from the Streetwise Sociology class will provide safe trick or treating sites at selected businesses and residences that have agreed to participate in handing out candy and sweets. Candy bags and maps illustrating safe places to go will be handed out prior to the children’s departure.

The Streetwise Sociology class is one of several classes conducted by NDNU professor  Dr. Don Stannard-Friel, that bring sociology students to the heart of the Tenderloin to  give them a first hand look at the real human issues of poverty, crime, and  homelessness, and also at the good work done by many members of the community.

“This program sounds lighthearted, and in many ways it is,” said Dr. Stannard-Friel. “But its purpose is a serious one. Not only does it expose undergraduate sociology students to the real issues that children face in places like the Tenderloin, it also shows them that they can affect lives of these children in a positive way. And we also learn that the mean streets of the Tenderloin are full of good people, with hopes and dreams of their own.”

The class of about 15 students has been meeting in the Tenderloin since September preparing for this event, coordinating with local businesses and interacting with the people in the Tenderloin District in order to make this happen.

The Tenderloin Children’s Playground is located at 570 Ellis Street in San Francisco. For more information, contact Diana Chin, Playground Director at the Tenderloin Children’s Playground at (415) 292-2162 or Dr. Stannard-Friel at (650) 508-3770.