For the 2008 Halloween season the Cabrini Connections students had the opportunity to take part in an essay contest. The students were asked to write a 1-page essay on the true history of the holiday and to share their most memorable Halloween experience. There were several students in the program who took on this challenge in an effort to earn the right to go to the field trip to Navy Pier's Haunted House on Halloween night.
In relations to the overall tutor/mentor program this essay was much more than just an essay with a reward for the winners. The Halloween essay contest provided numerous teaching and learning moments for the mentees and also the mentors. Because of this essay the students had the opportunity to use the Internet and other forms of technology to do research on the topic. The students worked on their organizational, writing, and grammar skills as they put their research on paper. The students then had the opportunity work on their presentation skills as they presented their essay to the all of the mentors and mentees who attended the sessions last week. Technology use, research enhancement, organizational, writing, and grammar skills along with presentation skills are all necessary for each and every student within the program no matter what career choice they have for the future. Because of this essay contest, mentors had the opportunity to teach the students these valuable skills.
Looking back the reader can see that besides earning a fun filled night at Navy Pier's Haunted House Halloween night, the four students who won the contest (De'Sean Hale, Eboni Rivera, Charles Hill, and Yolanda Hyles) learned and/or enhanced valuable skills that are and will be necessary for any career choice they may have for the future!!!