Folks at St. Mary’s Home tend to take holidays very, very seriously, and Halloween is no exception. This year, the celebration on “Spooky Friday” was bigger than ever, filled with fun and educational activities.

Staff competed — fiercely — in a contest to decorate all four of the children’s living areas, turning the neighborhoods into a 50s diner, a haunted house, Alice’s Wonderland and Oz, complete with a yellow brick road.

Children, staff and teachers dressed up in costumes and paraded about the Home, an annual tradition organized by SECEP. St. Mary’s Home partners with Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs to provide individualized education programs for residents. SECEP’s REACH (Raising Expectations and Abilities for Children with Complex Health needs) Program offers educational services to students with severe to profound disabilities who live at St. Mary’s Home.

Also Friday, children took part in sensory activities, such as carving pumpkins and touching “guts” that just may have been spaghetti, with help from St. Mary’s evening activities staff.

New this year: Children used adaptive switches to plug into SECEP’s Spooky Room so they could independently activate games, lights and a slideshow with spooky pictures and sounds.

WVEC-TV, Norfolk’s ABC affiliate, covered some of the goings-on. Victoria asked reporter Joe Flanagan to pose with her for a photo, and he graciously obliged.

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