After a series of attempted abductions of schoolchildren this fall, kids are being encouraged to celebrate Halloween safely this year.
King Elementary School in Urbana will have a Stranger Danger Assembly this Halloween.
Principal Jennifer Ivory-Tatum said the school doesn't want to frighten anyone, but said the school believes it's important to reinforce the importance of safety in case students are trick-or-treating without an adult.
"We just want them to go out that night, thinking about being safe," she said.
A teacher and a teaching assistant are both actors at the Station Theatre and proposed the idea of showing scenarios about what to do if someone asks them to come inside or tries to offer them candy in exchange for coming closer to a vehicle.
"We don't really celebrate Halloween (at school) but we do acknowledge that the kids are going to be excited about it," Ivory-Tatum said, especially because it falls on a Monday this year. She said the assembly will be educational; "that way, when the students go out that evening, if they're not with an adult, it will be really fresh."
As another way to make Halloween safe, CommUnity Matters will have fun alternatives to trick-or-treating Monday.
They're scheduled from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Champaign Park District's Douglass Community Center, 512 E. Grove St., C, and from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Garden Hills Elementary School, 2001 Garden Hills, C.
CommUnity Matters is a collaboration between the city, the park district, school district and the United Way of Champaign County, said Champaign school district spokeswoman Lynn Peisker.
Both are open to kids of all ages, and will include things like treats, games and costume contests.
"Anytime something like this happens, it does give you an opportunity to pause and see what you're making available and see if that can't be expanded," Peisker said.