On Halloween, a royal treat

Limo ride: It's no stretch to say that the 12 honored pupils, who were transported to The Mall in a limo, had a Halloween to remember.

November 01, 2001|By Tanika White | Tanika White,SUN STAFF

The treat for the 12 privileged students from Elkridge's Deep Run Elementary School was a stretch limo ride to a restaurant, with cloth napkins, fancy french fries and cake for dessert - while all their friends had to stay at school and do work. Ha!

But there were a couple of tricks for these dozen costumed kiddies to endure, too.

Chew with your mouth closed.

No shoveling food.

Don't say the food is yucky.

Use your napkin, not your shirt.

Stay IN YOUR SEAT.

"If we can't get out of our seats, we can't even go to the bathroom," giggled Deep Run Elementary School soldier and second-grader Ann Marley. "And it means we can't go hoooome."

The prospect of being stuck there yesterday made Ann and her Deep Run schoolmates positively giddy.

After all, it was Halloween, and any trepidation that might have been pulsing in the hearts of grown-ups wasn't trickling down to the kiddies.

Though there has been lots of talk about abbreviated events or canceled activities elsewhere in the county, school administrators were determined to let the dress-me-up-and-fill-me-with-sweets show go on.

"There's absolutely no place safer and more secure for our kids to celebrate than in our schools," said schools spokeswoman Patti Caplan.

The continuing national crisis served only to make yesterday's parades, parties and pumpkin-decorating contests even more necessary.

"This is just one more way that we provide a sense of normalcy for our kids," Caplan said.

At Deep Run, the 12 winners - picked randomly from among consistently good-behavers - got to dine in their costumes yesterday at Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill at The Mall in Columbia.

They rode in a stretch Lincoln Navigator limousine, watching TV. The treats were donated by business owners.

"I could get used to this," said third-grader Coressia Wright, her silver space-girl outfit reflecting shiny in the tinted windows.

While they waited for their cheeseburgers and chicken fingers, kindergartner Victor Alquijay and fifth-grader Corri Smith handed out candy to restaurant patrons.

"Happy Halloween! Would you like some candy?" Corri asked two businessmen.

"Are you [dressed as], a gift?" asked Leigh Sanderoff, of Gaithersburg, who smiled down at her and reached in to take a piece of chocolate.

"She's a tissue box," whispered Strib Meares, of Columbia, as Corri walked away - her head shrouded by tissue paper.

"Uh ... I blew that," Sanderoff said.

"Are we missing homework right now?" first-grader and sparkly ladybug Kristin Cady asked her chaperone mother, as she crunched on chicken fingers.

Lucky for Kristin (who hates missing homework, her mom said), there was little schoolwork to miss at Deep Run yesterday; after the 12 left Z'Tejas, they joined their peers - brides, babies, dinosaurs, sports figures, wizards, witches, pirates, emergency workers, bumblebees, hippies, ninjas, M&Ms, Supermen and Minnie Mice - for parties and parades much of the day.

"This is a fun time for kids," said Deep Run Principal Fran Donaldson.

"It makes good memories. They should get to be kids as long as they can. They should be enjoying learning, but they should be enjoying life, too."

(By the way, Donaldson would like it known that her homemade spotted outfit was a Dalmatian, NOT a cow.)

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