CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Dozens of volunteers from across Jefferson County came together on October 27 for Jefferson County Schools' first Sensory Trunk or Treat. Hosted at Charles Town Middle School, the event provided a safe and inclusive environment for families of neurotypically diverse children to celebrate Halloween. Unlike a traditional trunk-or-treat, the event connected participating families with volunteer greeters and guides.
"We wanted to offer a face-to-face interaction that allowed our students to practice social skills," according to Haley Kern, the Jefferson County Schools PERC (Parent and Educator Resources Coordinator).
Kern said she designed the event to give families and students a chance to be in the moment together. "We want to bring neurotypical and neurodivergent students together in a positive way to promote a culture of inclusion."
Kern added that she hoped having organizations like the Charles Town Police Department, Citizen's Volunteer Fire Company, and the West Virginia Air National Guard take part would help build relationships with the school community.
Students from several schools in Jefferson County joined with the community volunteers for the event. Students from the following groups participated: The Jefferson High School National Honor Society, mascot, and Leadership Club; Washington High School Key Club and mascot; Shepherd University Ram; Charles Town Middle School Builders Club and mascot; Charles Town Police Department; Citizens Fire Company; and West Virginia Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt. Billy Gillenwater.
Along with the positive community interactions, volunteers helped distributed 100lbs. of candy! Thanks to everyone who took part in the event.