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Halloween Bus Puts Students in the Holiday Spirit

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For many students, autumn can be an enjoyable time of the year.  They look forward to the brisk fall weather, watching sports with family, perhaps picking apples or decorating outside, and of course, Halloween.

From choosing their own costume to seeing those their friends chose, celebrating in the festivities of Halloween is a favorite day of the year for many. The Halloween spirit can also be quite contagious to those who interact with the students and get to witness their delight firsthand.

Take CCSD59 Bus Driver Jim Christie, for example. In addition to other responsibilities he provides to the Transportation Department, his current bus routes include some the district’s youngest learners at the new Early Learning Center and students with special needs. Christie, who has been a driver for eight years with the district, delights the children by decorating his bus in the holiday spirit.

“Halloween seems to get more of their attention and excitement because it is all about their costumes, which they start talking about in September,” says Christie. “They enjoy seeing Halloween decorations as they start to appear on houses along the route. During the week of Halloween, we count pumpkins on the way to school.”

Christie decorates his bus for other holidays too, including Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. If Halloween does not fall on a school day, he decorates the bus on the day they get to wear their costumes to school.

It also can be a great way to communicate with students and start conversations, which is one of Christie’s favorite things about getting into the spirit of the holidays. He happily recalls a story where a student with special needs, who had never spoken a single word on his bus before Halloween, got onto his bus that day.

“As his mother helped him enter the bus on Halloween, he stopped at the top of the stairs and shouted ‘Look, there are pumpkins everywhere!’,” recalls Christie. “For at least two weeks afterwards, he would get on the bus, smile, say good morning and ask me if we had any pumpkins on the bus today.

He did eventually quit asking about pumpkins, but he always said good morning for the rest of the school year.”

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