Children in the Tenderloin Get Ready For Halloween of Fun, Games, and Safety

Belmont, CA, October 23, 2008 — About 400 children in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District will enjoy safe Halloween festivities and trick-or-treating, thanks to volunteers from Notre Dame de Namur University. Students from the University’s Streetwise Sociology Class, along with event sponsors Tenderloin Children’s Playground, Boys and Girls Club, and the Indochinese Housing Development Corporation, will present the 13th annualHalloween in the Tenderloin at the Children’s Playground on October 31 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Children will have a choice of 25 activities, including a jump house, pumpkin carving and painting, face painting, a haunted house, and various games. Everyone, including event coordinators and volunteers, will be in costume. The San Francisco Police Department will provide hot dogs, drinks, and chips for all of the kids. Throughout the evening, a DJ from KMEL will play hip hop and R&B music. The Streetwise Sociology class and its partners work with businesses and residences in the neighborhood to create safe houses that hand out candy to the children. The kids are sent to trick-or-treat with a bag, as well as a map that provides the addresses of these safe sites.

The Streetwise Sociology class is one of six community-based courses taught in the Tenderloin by NDNU’s Dr. Don Stannard-Friel, under the heading “Tenderloin U.” The purpose of the class is to put sociology into practice, giving students the opportunity to work with Tenderloin organizations to prepare events for Tenderloin youth and their families.

“We learn about the inner city community by being there, and working in partnership with people to make a contribution,” says Dr. Stannard-Friel. “In the process, we learn how to behave properly in that community, to be streetwise. The Tenderloin is our classroom.”

The class of 15 meets in the Tenderloin once a week, and have prepared for this event since September. They prepare three other events during the semester: Tenderloin Youth College Project (two weeks after Halloween), a visit to NDNU’s campus, and Miracle on Eddy Street.

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.