The letters “ECC” could mean much more in Johnston than Early Childhood Center.
For example, when it comes to events like last Wednesday evening’s annual Pumpkin Painting Night, ECC could also stand for “Excellent Classic Creations.”
The Pumpkin Painting Night has become so popular that ECC officials needed to host the event inside the cafeteria at Nicholas A. Ferri Middle School, which was overflowing with special smiles from young and old alike as well as uniquely decorated and painted pumpkins.
There were black and orange plastic coverings for each table, and the entrance featured black and orange balloons that further enhanced an already colorful Halloween setting.
Moreover, Principal Keri Autiello – who was ably assisted by a host of faculty and staff such as Pat Cardillo, Lori Autiello, Paula Acciardo, Peggy Lessa, Neila Hoard, Toni Mattera, Kim Marshall and Nicole Carroll – had to schedule back-to-back sessions to accommodate the many family members and friends who showed up for what was called a “terrific tradition for all the children.”
As soon as families entered the Ferri Middle School lobby, Autiello, who was standing between two long cafeteria tables that were covered with pumpkins, greeted them.
“We purchased the pumpkins at Dame Farm [in Johnston],” Autiello said, noting that the owners offered a special school discount for the mega pumpkin purchase. “We charged a small fee for each pumpkin.”
Equipped with pumpkins and their thinking caps, children and their families went to work creating faces and various designs using paintbrushes and stickers.
The night also featured a “mobile photo booth,” which was simply a square white frame people used to take a picture of their favorite pumpkin painter.
“It was a fun night had by all,” Marshall, the ECC’s skilled art teacher, said. “And that includes the students and staff.”
For more photos from Pumpkin Painting Night, turn to page 7.