Thursday, April 11, 2013

Prom and After Prom

Spring is in the air and with it come the numerous events, tests, and rites of passage that our students and parents have come to expect.  Next week, our elementary and middle schools will begin CRCT testing, and in the coming weeks our high schools will administer EOCT and Advanced Placement testing as well.  These examinations mark the culmination of a year’s worth of learning and preparation and provide our students positive feedback on where they stand in their journey of knowledge acquisition.  But, the spring is not all about testing.  Our students will also have the opportunity to celebrate their successes and journeys through honors nights, field days and picnics, and for the juniors and seniors – Prom.  

As a former high school teacher and administrator for nearly two decades, I can share that prom nights bring with them excitement and anxiety.  While I enjoyed immensely the opportunity to see our students dressed up and having a great time, I also slept very little hoping that those same students made proper decisions over the course of the evening and arrived home safely. Thus, I was excited to learn that the Oconee community provides an event known as After Prom.

After Prom began nearly twelve years ago at Oconee County High School as an event to extend the fun for students in a safe and supervised atmosphere.  When North Oconee High School opened, the event began alternating host sites each year.  This year North Oconee will host the event, which runs from 11:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.  The event theme is “After Prom 2013: Don’t Stop the Party.”  The activities that will take place are numerous and include a rock climbing wall, video games, karaoke, inflatables, laser tag, bungee trampoline, and a battle of the bands competition.  Food will be provided throughout the evening and gifts will be awarded to students randomly over the course of the event. 

As you might expect, an event of this magnitude cannot take place without volunteers and sponsors.  The annual budget for After Prom is approximately $15,000, and it takes nearly 100 volunteers to set up, decorate, run the event, and clean up.  Our community has been tremendously responsive over the years and this year is no different.  Sponsorships are available at the platinum ($1000), gold ($500), silver ($200), and friends of After Prom ($100) levels for those stakeholders desiring to make a monetary donation.  However, parents and community members can also assist through volunteering their time.  Volunteers are not required to stay the entire length of the event as shifts have been designated.  Don’t think that you can stay awake until the sun comes up? No problem. Volunteers are also needed throughout the day to help set up prior to the event, pick up food, and decorate. 

This year’s After Prom event chairs are Tammy Gillard and Chuck Toney.  Please contact them for more information or visit the After Prom website at http://oconeeschools.org/nohs/AfterProm2013/ to learn more about this outstanding event.   

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