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Students At McPolin Elementary School Have A Lot To Say About The Candy Buy Back

Visiting an elementary school cafeteria during lunch can be ear-splitting on any day but the day after Halloween is bordering on total cacophony. The Park City High School Student Council sponsors a candy buy-back at all the schools in the district except the High School.

KPCW visited with some kids at McPolin who were hoping to make a buck on their Halloween candy overflow.

The buy-back table looks a little bit like a bookmaker set up. One student has a wad of $1 bills in her jeans while the other is monitoring a scale, all the while trying to explain to a 6-year old why their bag of candy doesn’t weigh a whole pound. For this buy-back program, the going payment for a pound of candy is a dollar. Principal Bob Edmiston, known by kids and families as Mr. Ed, and wearing a red tie dye shirt, checks in every now and again encouraging the older students to “round-up, round-up.”

Tenth grader, Logan told KPCW he likes being a part of the buy-back because the candy is sent to military personnel overseas.

“This is my first time doing it,  so I was really nervous about, if I messed up. It’s going really well so far. All the kids after Halloween collect their candy. And all the candy will go to our warriors who are fighting for our country and everything. So, they’ll get all the candy. It really is a great idea because we can help our warriors and let them know that we still care about them and that we still love that they’re helping us.”
He is a little concerned about the going rate and thinks he may use his next few years at the high school to work on price adjustments especially with the older grades.

“I also feel like they should give more money per pound because a pound is also a lot of candy. So, $1 seems like a little less. But I know all the elementary school kids really do like giving a pound but when you get to like the older grades, Ecker and Treasure, giving a pound doesn’t seem worth it.”

A line was forming with a slew of kindergartners waiting to have their bags of candy weighed. They had a lot to say about the cause and how much they thought they would make.

“We’re in kindergarten but we just wait cause we need to sell our candy.”

“How much money do you think you’re going to get?”

“I think $4.”

“What happens to the candy?”

“It gets down to warriors who fight our town.”

“No. Warriors then celebrate Halloween with their families.”

“And, they can fight for our country.”

“It’s just our first time doing it.”

As the lower grades finished up lunch and headed out to recess, the older students filtered in, like this fourth grader who was patiently waiting her turn to weigh out her sack of candy. She told KPCW why she’s selling her candy and what she has in mind long range.

“Cause the kids that don’t get to go trick or treating and don’t get candy, deserve some candy.”
“Have you weighed your candy yet?”
“No. They are right now.”
“What are you going to do with the money?”
“I’m probably going to save it for when I get to college.”

November 1st, in addition to Candy Buy-Back day, is also a celebrated Mexican Holiday which officially begins on October 31 and ends November 2. The three-day event is a time for families to gather and pray for their loved ones who have died. McPolin students have a stunning art exhibit celebrating Dia de los Muertas at the entry to the school. There are dozens of Day of the Dead painted skulls along with the iconic Aztec Marigolds made from tissue paper. They created altars and placed tender offerings in memory of those they loved. You can find a slide show of the art exhibit on KPCW.org.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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