Like most kids his age, Jason Lovitt loves Halloween, with its candy and dressing up in costume.

Like most kids his age, Jason Lovitt loves Halloween, with its candy and dressing up in costume.

But mostly, Lovitt loves sharing the holiday with his classmates from Canal Winchester Middle School's special education program.

For the second year in a row, Jason, 12, and his fathers, Charles Lovitt and Fred Limbert, hosted a get-together for all the students in Jason's program.

"I'm pretty much looking forward to sharing candy with my friends and enjoying the treats," Jason said.

The gathering, where the kids eat candy and play games such as bobbing for apples, is an opportunity for the students to get together and socialize outside of school, Charles Lovitt said. There generally aren't many other extracurricular school events for the special needs kids, he said.

"We don't all get together very often, but we've had a good response from everyone about these Halloween parties," Limbert said. "Over the summer, we all met at the Canal Winchester pool, but that's pretty much it. There're not many school functions for them."

Brandon Theiss, the district's intervention specialist, is putting together a one-on-one peer-mentoring program, which kicks off soon with a tailgate party, Charles Lovitt said.

He said Theiss "does a lot of life-skill teaching and put together a tailgate party that's coming up to give (Canal Winchester Middle School) students and kids in Jason's class a chance to meet each other and pair up.".

The Lovitt-Limbert family, including Jason's brothers, Scott, 18, and Steven, 20, moved to Canal Winchester from Long Beach, Calif., in 2004, to be closer to Lovitt and Limbert's family. Both originally are from Ohio.

"We wanted the boys to know their extended family and have that closeness of family," Limbert said. "We've fostered about 15 kids over the years and felt that family was important for these three that we adopted."

Both fathers said Canal Winchester has been an incredible place for the family, and the schools have been great for Jason.

The family spent all day Saturday, Oct. 22, getting the yard and house decorated for the party that evening.

"We started at 6:30 a.m. this morning," Limbert said. "We don't get any trick-or-treaters all the way out here, so this is a good way to share time with Jason's friends and our family."

Adam Cairns/ThisWeek

Dressed as a Civil War soldier, Jason Lovitt, 12, poses inside the decorations in his backyard on Oct. 22. The family held a Halloween party for students in Jason's Canal Winchester Middle School special needs class later that day.