No tricks, only treats at the Jones’
LFL teachers celebrate Halloween with students
LINGLE – Halloween is a favorite for many people; with the haunted houses, special treats and fun activities, it can be a fun time for all ages. For Debbie Jones and her husband Nate, two Lingle-Fort Laramie (LFL) teachers, it is an exciting time to share with their students and other members of the community.
“We love Halloween; I think we’ve both loved it since we were kids,” Debbie told the Guide. “We love to decorate [and see all of the students]. It’s one of our favorite holidays.”
The Jones’ have been in the Lingle community for many years. Debbie is a special ed para at LFL and Nate is a P.E., weightlifting and lifetime sports teacher. Nate is also the middle school football, wrestling and track coach.
Each year, the Jones’ invite the LFL students to trick-or-treat at their house.
The tradition started back in Sutton, Nebraska.
“[Nate] told the kids that if they would come trick-or-treating to our house, he would give them extra credit; he was a P.E. teacher there, too,” Debbie said. “That’s kind of how it all started.”
“We love Halloween and we love trick-or-treating, so we just enjoy it so much,” she continued. “We did it there for about 14 years before moving out here to Lingle. We’ve been here for 15 years now and still do it every year.”
While Nate doesn’t give extra credit to his students for it anymore, it’s still just as big of a deal. Each year they hang a poster on the wall in the elementary school to invite all of the kids. Over the years they’ve also written down their address for students who requested it for their parents.
“We make little treat sacks,” Debbie explained. “They’ve got candy and a little party favor.”
They usually have a large number of trick-or-treaters show up and each year it seems to get bigger. Last year, Debbie said they had about 136, but they have had up to 150. In Sutton, they would often have upward of 200 kids.
“It’s a very, very busy evening,” Debbie said.
After each of the kids get their treat, the Jones’ take their photograph. The photos are then printed and posted on a bulletin board at school for the next month. At the end of the month, usually by Thanksgiving, each student is allowed to take home their photo.
Debbie said the students really love seeing their pictures up on the wall at school. They will often spend time in the hallways after Halloween looking at their photos. It is also a fun time for the kids to show their friends and other teachers their costumes.
While the majority of the kids who go are elementary kids, the Jones’ do have several middle schoolers and high schoolers who go as well.
“When they get older, we always tell them we don’t care if they’re wearing a costume or not,” Debbie said. “We just love to have them come in. We’ll still give them their little treat bag of candy. It’s just fun to have them come.”
Debbie said all the elementary kids get a treat regardless if they come trick-or-treating at their house or not. To not leave anyone out, Nate hands out treats to the kids who did not make it during his P.E. classes on the next day of school.
“Some of the [younger kids’] parents don’t know us, or they aren’t able to stop by, so we bring in the remaining treats to the school after Halloween,” Debbie said.
Everyone is welcome no matter the age or if they’re an LFL student. If a child is not an LFL student they will not take their photo, since they won’t be able to see it at school.
Halloween is a great time for a community can come together to make some innocent fun for children. Lingle’s small-town charm offers families a wonderful place to take their children trick-or-treating.
“Lingle’s a neat community,” Debbie said. “It’s a very close community, both the town and the school. It’s pretty special.”
The Jones’ address is 905 Freimuth Ave in Lingle. It is northwest of the North Hills Baptist Church.
They decorate their house with a few Halloween decorations, including a singing ghost, a screaming tombstone and a few scarecrows. This year they will also be adding a witch to the usual decorations. Debbie said their decorations are on the milder side, so they aren’t super scary to the younger kids.
Head on over to the Jones’ on Halloween for a fun treat.