For Families that use the Child Development Centers on post, the opportunity to interact with their child's class or teacher may not be a common occurrence.

That's one of the reasons that the parent activity committee at the Eagles CDC decided to have a Fall Festival and Spaghetti Dinner on the evening of October 22.

"We were just looking at an activity that would help promote Family time," explained Lorie Barker, president of the parent activity committee. "We always take a look at creating traditions as far as it being fall time and having the pumpkin patch and being able to get kids to look at creating traditions and getting them to pick out a pumpkin and that type of thing. Then it's also a good time to just allow for the parents in an informal environment to interact with the care providers and see all the things that they're doing at the center."

Each classroom hosted a different activity, and Families were free to roam from classroom to classroom to participate in the festivities.

The first room offered children a chance to decorate their own trick or treat bags. Next was the disco room where parents and children partied on a streamed dance floor. When they got tired, they could sit and color their own kitty-cat masks.

The next two rooms offered children two different beanbag tosses, one into a jack-o-lantern and the other into a miniature corn hole table. Parents and caretakers alike helped the children learn to play and everyone got a prize for trying.

At the end of the first hallway sat the pumpkin patch. Two-hundred miniature pumpkins sat waiting for the children to take home with them.

At the opposite end of the building was the faces painting booth, and every 20 minutes, Families could join in on the cake walk until 5 p.m. when Families returned to their children's classroom and dinner was served.

"The parent advisory committee came up with ideas and we took them to each of the leads in the rooms," Barker said. "Some of the leads already had ideas, but just kind of brain stormed and came up with a whole list of things we wanted to do."

Barker said that the entire festival took about six weeks to plan and coordinate donations, but the end result produced a better turn out than she'd expected.

"They may not remember the specifics of it, but just getting Families engaged - I think just that Family time to the younger ones is more important than actually the activities we were doing," she added.