Kids dressed as princesses, ninjas and superheroes all descended upon Tolovana Hall Monday night for Cannon Beach Academy’s first Halloween party.

Inflatable pumpkins, hacky sack games, witchy crafts and ghoulish cupcakes marked the season. Community members and parents donated bags of candy and watched as the students played in the inflatable bouncy house.

The party also marked roughly two months since the charter school opened its doors.

“It’s been wonderful,” said Emma Molyneux, a parent of two children enrolled. “At bigger schools you have to fight for volunteer time, but in a small classroom setting it’s easier to get to know all the kids.”

The volunteering spirit is part of what Molyneux thinks makes the school special, working with the other parents to help serve lunch or to haul boxes of personal Halloween decorations for a party.

“I suppose I’ve always been a Halloween person,” Molyneux laughed.

The Halloween party is one in a series of firsts for the academy. In the past two months, students have taken their school photos, participated in a mock farmers market to learn about their food and where it comes from, and completed a collaborative art project for the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, Executive Director Amy Moore said.

The most recent accomplishment, however, was having the academy’s first- and second-graders teach the kindergarten students how to dance to “the Monster Mash.”

“That is leadership at its finest,” Moore said. “Watching these kids branch out and build relationships has been rewarding.”

For second-grader Satchel Parker, he said there is a lot to like about to school, but recess is probably his favorite.

“But I think every kid would say that,” Parker said.

For the night he was dressed as a Special Forces soldier. When asked, he said he wasn’t really sure what inspired him to choose the costume, other than a vague interest “in this stuff.”

But he had a clearer opinion about the party.

“I like the candy, and the food,” Parker said. “And the people.”

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