Halloween

The Trick or Treat Transit makes its way through downtown Centralia during Halloween festivities Thursday afternoon.

How did you celebrate Halloween this year? Did you stay home and hand out candy or did you trek out into the brisk afternoon or evening to stock your own candy stashes?

This year, we got a flyer in our kindergartener’s take-home folder from school for “Trick-or-Treat Transit.” Our 5-year-old — who recently fell in love with the school bus — immediately informed us that, this year, he wanted to trick-or-treat on the “city bus.”

If you aren’t familiar, Trick-or-Treat Transit is a joint partnership between Twin Transit and the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce (among other supporting sponsors) to coordinate buses that trick-or-treating families can ride for free between downtown Centralia and Chehalis, as well as Twin City Town Center and Fairway Center.

This was previously known as “Trick-or-Treat Trolley” back when the City of Centralia still had a trolley. But, when the city sold the trolley a few years back, Twin Transit stepped in and was able to expand the opportunities for trick-or-treaters — this year, offering three Twin Transit buses dedicated to transporting kids and families to even more designated local stops than previous years.

Twin Transit spared no details this year. We decided to park our car at the Lewis County Historical Museum and wait for the Trick-or-Treat bus at the museum “bus house” (bus shelter), as my boys call it. The bus arrived and my two little trick-or-treaters hurried onto their very first Twin Transit bus and were thrilled to be greeted by a bus driver also in costume for Halloween.

As we sat down, we noticed that the entire bus was Harry Potter-themed! Each of the Hogwarts School house flags were hanging, along with winged keys, pages from “The Daily Prophet,” and “Moaning Myrtle” in the back. Golden snitches made of Ferrero Rocher chocolates were handed out by Twin Transit staff on board.

My kids will never forget that experience. They had been looking forward to just riding the city bus alone. The added magic of the costumes and decorations by Twin Transit staff made it just downright awesome. My boys proudly told everyone at every house they trick-or-treated later that night that they had ridden the city bus and how much fun it was. They were so pleased.

As a former Mother Hubbard’s preschool student back in the Mrs. Ruth days, I couldn’t help but think of her and how proud she’d be to see a new generation of kids learning to fall in love with public transit in new and fun ways.

Thanks for the fun, Twin Transit. It’s so nice to be able to trick-or-treat without having to get costumed kids in and out of the car, over and over, or lose time trying to find parking. Thanks for helping us get the very most out of our Halloween!

•••

Have you read my previous mentions about the Career College Ready (CCR) program at W.F. West through Chehalis School District? This will be my second year as a CCR mentor for high school seniors at W.F. West — and, if you have an interest in helping students prepare for the “real world,” this volunteer opportunity is for you.

CCR mentors are matched and meet with a group of 4-8 high school seniors that you’ll follow through the school year. You’ll meet with your group of students at W.F. West on one scheduled Monday morning per month at 10 a.m. for 30 minutes. The curriculum is provided for you in advance each month and prep time is extremely minimal. It’s a small time commitment with huge impacts on young adults in our community.

There are no minimum requirements aside from a standard background check. You could be a working professional, retired, a parent or grandparent — anyone can be a mentor. Your job is to be positive, encouraging, and supportive of your group of students. Any communication with students outside of the classroom is done through a monitored app.

Some mentors simply are available to their students. Others have helped their students set up checking accounts. Others have even talked with kids about how to file their taxes and other “grown-up” things that sometimes just can’t be covered in the classroom. There are tons of opportunities to make a difference.

For more information or to sign up, contact Autumn Ledgerwood by email at aledgerwood@chehalisschools.org.

•••

Brittany Voie is a columnist for The Chronicle. She lives south of Chehalis with her husband and two young sons. She welcomes correspondence from the community at voiedevelopment@comcast.net.

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