ASHTABULA — The window fronts of Main Avenue businesses became a canvas for Thurgood Marshall Elementary School students, who turned downtown into the Halloween hub of Ashtabula.

More than 30 fifth-grade students ate lunch at the Ashtabula Area Chamber of Commerce and then spent Friday afternoon decorating store fronts with bats, ghosts, pumpkins and spiders made by other students at the Station Avenue school.

The Ashtabula Downtown Development Association organized the event.

“We’re doing it to give back to the community,” said LeMarcus Colbert, 10. “It’s a way we can thank them for it.”

The students’ teachers, Cynthia Notter and Wiliam Galliazzo, watched the youngsters hang the decorations in the windows of Casa Capelli’s, Ultimate Appearance and Main Avenue Music.

“The kids are so good, you would never know they are here,” said Jane Haines, owner of Ultimate Appearance, who also serves as president of the Ashtabula Downtown Development Association.

Lauri Scharf from RSVP of Ashtabula said she’s interested in starting an inter-generational program for seniors ages 55 and older.

“This type of activity is perfect,” she said, as Kiara Jackson, 11, and Hannah Wilson, 11, hung paper pumpkins in the front window at Casa Capelli’s.

A paraprofessional at Thurgood Marshall, Mary Dennis, said the students enjoyed doing their civic duty by helping out the business owners.

Blake Allison-Moore, 11, watched as Shawnee Shaw, 11, and Valonza Pollard, 11, prepared paper owls and spiders for hanging. As they worked, the girls talked with Brandyn Swank, 10, about what they wanted to wear for Halloween this year.

Shawnee and Valonza agreed — they wanted to be Brats.

Brandyn said he is too old for trick or treat.

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