When some students knocked on Zeta Beta Tau’s door Thursday afternoon, they didn’t have to worry about their gender ratio.
Thirty-six students in grades one through six from Comegys Elementary School arrived at the fraternity’s chapter house for an hour of Halloween-themed activities, College junior and Community School Student Partnership Site coordinator Meechen Okai said.
Comegys Elementary, located at 51st and Greenway streets, is one of the schools that CSSP supports through the Netter Center.
ZBT organized the event with CSSP after expressing interest in working with children in after-school programs, College sophomore and ZBT Philanthropy Chairman Brandon Bell said.
In the past, the fraternity has also tutored students in other schools under the Netter Center.
The ZBT house — decked in orange and black — was divided into three rotating stations for the elementary-school students, Bell said.
Activities included playing musical chairs, making candy bags and walking through a haunted house that the brothers created on the third floor.
“We feel that it provides them a fun, safe environment to celebrate Halloween. It’s a special thing for them because it’s not a normal thing to do after school,” Bell said. “It’s also a way to give back to the West Philadelphia community.”
“One of our goals is to start exposing the kids to different environments,” Okai added. “This is the first time they’ve come this semester.”
Okai said CSSP at Penn also supports Comegys Elementary with reading programs, school day tutoring and mentoring.
Both ZBT and CSSP hope to make the event into an annual tradition.
After hosting the elementary-school students, ZBT will also hold an event for Penn students to smash an old car on Rodin Field today.
This is the second year that ZBT organized the car smash. All proceeds will go toward the Hope Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides mentorship and financial support to help children in China and Kenya receive a college education, said College senior Ted Mooncai, who founded the scholarship fund. Mooncai, who is a member of ZBT, founded the charity his sophomore year of high school.
Last year, ZBT members raised $1,064 for the scholarship and hope to surpass their goal this year, Mooncai said.
“The car smash does not really connect to the cause in any way,” Mooncai said. “But any charity where you can draw people will help … it’s something that has never been done before and is also a lot of fun.”
“ZBT prides itself on its philanthropy … [the car smash] is a unique event,” Bell added. “It takes a lot of your stress out, given it’s a hectic time with midterms and projects.”