Morgan’s REACT club began the 2012-2013 school year by energetically planning their 2nd Annual Haunted Hallways substance-free event and fund raiser. Scary fairy tales were selected as the theme of the experience, with hallways portraying Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella. The students met weekly in teams for this event throughout September and October, fully planning out every small detail of the fright experience on their own. Costumes were designed and made, make up imagined, and props and decorations created.

On the morning of October 28, 2012, the weatherman warned Clinton of another alarming event: Hurricane Sandy was approaching the CT shoreline!  REACT members arrived at Morgan determined to pull off another successful Haunted Hallways despite any meteorological threat! A rabbit hole for Alice in Wonderland quickly was built from refrigerator boxes. The white lights were hung in preparation for Cinderella’s wedding. Snow White and the dwarfs, the prince and the witch hung a broken glass mirror and stirred up a poisonous brew. A hungry wolf posed as grandma in a bed at the end of a long very dark hallway.

As rain began to fall, brave community members came out to face the frights! Over 100 people attended in all, and REACT had a lot of fun recreating the stories and scaring everyone! The costumes were amazing, the makeup gory and gross, and the experiences down-right scream-inducing! Despite shutting down early due to the hurricane, REACT raised $250 for social services and again showed Clinton that you do not need substances to have a memorable and amazing time!

As the holidays approached, one of our REACT members, sophomore Jessica Accetta, approached the group with a need that she recognized in the community. It had come to her attention that children and teenagers were undergoing cancer treatments right in an oncologist’s office in the neighboring town of Guilford. “These youth could use a day brightener!”, Jess felt. After writing a mini-grant proposal that was quickly approved by PiC, Jess was able to purchase 25 holiday mugs, packets of hot chocolate, and chap sticks for these young cancer patients. Several REAC T members gathered together to assist Jess in wrapping up these items into decorative packages after school in late December. Each gift was tied with ribbon and included a hand drawn card with holiday well wishes. The mugs were all delivered to Dr. McNamara’s office in time for holiday delivery!

Jess embodied two of the assets that PiC focuses on when striving to create healthy youth and a healthy community. Positive values asset “Caring”, in which a young person places high value on helping other people, was reflected in her desire to spread cheer and a feeling of support to the youth battling illness. Jess also exhibited a Social Competencies asset, “Interpersonal Competence”, in this project.  She showed her empathy, sensitivity to others, and desire to spread friendship to these unknown patients. PiC is very proud of Jess and the other REACT students who helped make this donation of love and support for the holidays! It is this demonstration of the developmental assets that we hope to encourage in every Clinton resident!