Nespelem teachers and staff hand students gift bags during a Halloween event, Tuesday in Nespelem.

NESPELEM - In a year that has seen changes to everything ‘normal’ in Nespelem School - from in-student class to school lunches in the cafeteria, to riding the buses to school - add Halloween to the list.

Most years, Nespelem School hosts a small Halloween Carnival for students and families. The event is focused on family involvement, said Nespelem School’s Desirae Bear Eagle, who noted families are invited to play games in the gym, try their luck in the cake walk, compete in a halloween costume contests and share a meal with their family.

But this year, in response to COVID-19, that event was changed.

The Nespelem School hosted a Bullying Prevention Carnival Drive Thru, Oct. 27, inviting families to curbside Halloween excitement in the school’s parking lot.

“The first bullying Prevention Halloween Carnival took place in 2018,” said Bear Eagle. “It was started when more awareness was being shared about concerns of social media and bullying. As the school counselor I wanted to provide a family involvement activity, to bring awareness about how to be safe and provide conversations about what is bullying and how to address it. I shared the idea with administration and staff and they were very supportive and it became a school effort along with ASB students. The students in these leadership roles took it seriously and led a lot of our games and discussions with students and parents. 

“Nespelem School is a bully free zone, and Nespelem School has provided family involvement nights we just added another to the great list of ways to support our students and families. We work as a great team.”

In the drive-thru students received a goody bag filled with a STEM magnet, STEM pen, stickers and blue light glasses for students to use when utilizing tablets and computers in long distance learning - all of which was donated by the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. Bags also included candy and t-shirts that read: “Indigi-love begins with I.”

Teachers, school staff and some students dressed up for the event, and some students returned work packets, bringing cheers from the teachers as they handed manila folders out their windows.

Nespelem School is currently in a full-time, distance learning platform.

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