Letter to the Editor: How the special needs prom went from dream to reality

The Oxford High School Mentorship Program led by teacher Katie Goetz came to my office to discuss the possibility of having a Special Needs Prom.

Three students from the high school – Ally Lupu, Liz Grant and Morgan Grant – approached me with excitement and true love for the special needs students and for those in my Learning Opportunities for Tomorrow (LOFT) program. They wanted to give the special needs students a night to remember.

They were dedicated and excited about putting this together and I agreed to help them.

We spent many days in my office planning this event. We sent letters to local businesses to garner donations and support, so we could make this possible. The high school principal (Steve Wolf) was on board and donated money for us to buy all the food needed to make an amazing dinner for the students.

The girls reached out to many people in the community for support and donations.

We received a Limo bus (GEN-X Limousine) to transport the students to the prom, a red carpet for the students to walk on, photographers Jennifer and Larry Coker, who donated their time and expertise to photograph this special event. A photo booth was donated by a parent from the community.

Mrs. Grant, parent of Liz Grant made all of the flowers for the special needs students. We set up a get-ready room in the LOFT classroom before the prom from 3-5:30 p.m. to help with makeup, hair and nails.

Toni-Lynn DiCicco donated her time and expertise to do all the girls makeup and make them feel super special. The mentorship team and myself did all of the students hair and helped them put on their prom attire.

Mrs. Stull, my paraprofessional in my classroom, helped her mother Zelma Fellows buy all the food for the event and Mrs. Fellows worked very hard to prepare a special, sit-down dinner, complete with dessert, which was served by church volunteers and students from the mentorship program.

LakePoint Community Church in Oxford donated its space to serve as the prom venue.

The DJ, Ethan Holt, a member of the church, was excited to be part of this beautiful night to remember.

I was excited about giving the students a prom of their own and embracing the idea of the high school mentorship program leading this event. I was also amazed by all the community support as well as the support from the OHS administration and staff. The staff donated candy after I reached out to them via email. Goetz and Milosch’s Palace each donated $100.

The LOFT program also donated money to support the prom. It was a memorable experience and I would like to continue this partnership with the mentorship program and the special needs students in the building.

Once again, Oxford has proven itself to be a team, a family, a place that’s supportive of everything and everyone. I would like to thank everyone for all their efforts to help make this evening so special and supporting this amazing event. The joy that the students, both special needs and high school students, showed as they danced the night away was priceless.

Jeanne DiCicco
Special Education Teacher

Learning Opportunities for Tomorrow

 

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