November 4, 2009
A giraffe, a ladybug and a hippie were just a few of the costumes donned by nearly a dozen children that attended UCONN China Care Club’s October playgroup.
The Panda's Playgroup has been bringing together local families of children who have been adopted from China for the last three years. Student members from the UCONN China Care Club host the gathering every other Saturday.
“I love coming here and seeing the kids, and the families are all so great,” said senior Pam Shieh who is the president of the club. “It’s just amazing to watch them grow year after year.” Shieh has been a part of the Panda's Playgroup since she was a freshman and has gotten to know the children extremely well.
The parents find the playgroup just as heartwarming as it provides a place for their children to meet other kids just like them. “The children anxiously await the playgroup week after week,” said moms Diane Ambeau and Laurie Puiia who each have a daughter that has been coming to the Panda's Playgroup for the last three years.
This particular Saturday afternoon fell just days before Halloween, which gave the UCONN club members a great theme for the playgroup. The children dressed up in costumes and created a number of holiday crafts. They made drawings of pumpkins, ghosts out of lollipops and put feathers on hacky sacks. They also played a variety of games: picking up candy corn with chopsticks, pinning the nose on the clown and hitting a pumpkin piñata. To top off the joining of the Chinese culture and Halloween tradition, UCONN club members carved a panda bear into a pumpkin and raffled it off at the playgroup.