On the day of its annual homecoming football game, Central Crossing High School put out a welcome mat for students who someday will be calling the school home.

On the day of its annual homecoming football game, Central Crossing High School put out a welcome mat for students who someday will be calling the school home.

The school held its fourth annual carnival designed for students in kindergarten through eighth grade who live in the Central Crossing attendance boundaries.

The Oct. 14 event was rescheduled from its original Sept. 30 date.

"What we want to do is give them a feeling that they are a Comet and get them familiar with the building," said Valerie Mussi, a Central Crossing English teacher who helped organize the carnival. "It can be a little overwhelming when you start to attend high school -- the building is so much bigger and it's a big change from middle school."

The carnival offers a sneak peek for younger students "and gives them a sense of what high school culture is like and that it's a fun place to be," Mussi said.

Students could participate in dozens of carnival-style games and activities. Inflatable games were set up in the high school gym and a DJ, food truck and larger activities, including a giant bowling game, were set up outside on a plaza.

"We try different things each year. The food truck is something new," Mussi said. "This year we (set up) themed areas, We have a pirate area with 'pirate-y' games and a Hawaiian area."

In a patriotic area, children could get a temporary tattoo, create drawings or write letters to soldiers and play a red, white and blue tic-tac-toe game.

Junior Tina Pugach was assisting youngsters with writing letters to military personnel.

Pugach said she has volunteered for activities in the past for activities sponsored by the school's service-oriented Renaissance Club, and she thought the carnival would be another way to support Central Crossing.

"The carnival is a great community event and it's for the kids," she said. "It's great to see them having so much fun."

The leap from middle school to high school is perhaps the biggest a student will make, Pugach said.

"I think it's good for the younger students to get a chance to see the school and get used to it," she said.

Sophomore Samantha Marchio helped run the Nose Dive game. Participants had one minute to transfer cotton balls adhered to their nose with Vaseline from one bowl to another.

"You have a 'minute to win it,' " she said. "It's pretty hard to do. Not too many people have been able to get all the balls into the bowl."

Marchio said she finds it rewarding to interact with younger students.

"I came to the carnival when I was younger and I had a lot of fun," she said. "It's nice to be able to help out at the carnival now that I'm in high school."

More than 80 students served as volunteers at the carnival, Mussi said.

"A lot of students don't participate in sports or many school clubs and the carnival is a way for them to get involved in their school," she said.

The carnival was a free event, although a few school clubs, including the Key Club and ROTC held special sales to raise funds for their activities, Mussi said.

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