Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Oconee Way

Where does the time go?  In just forty short days the 2013-2014 school year will be complete.  It seems with each passing year that life’s pace continues to increase and with it the responsibilities that each of us has multiply exponentially.  This fact is an equally important reality for our students.  Yet, in reflecting on one’s childhood and school days what is it that we, as adults, remember most—Prom, graduation, that championship season?  Each day that passes as a student is an opportunity to make a memory that will last long after the tassel has been turned.  Thus, as parents, teachers, and community members, it is our responsibility to provide these opportunities for our kids in what I would term “The Oconee Way.” 

As my family entered the community two years ago, it was clear to us very quickly that we had landed in a special place—a place that values family, tradition, and experiences for children that are first class and unique.  As springtime quickly approaches with it comes one of those unique Oconee County Schools experiences.  No, I do not speak of Prom—all high schools have a Prom.  I speak of After Prom

After Prom began in 2002 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 OCHS will host After Prom, which begins Saturday, April 26, at 11:30 p.m. and ends Sunday, April 27, at 6:00 a.m.   The theme is Masquerade.  The activities that will take place are numerous and include a rock climbing wall, laser tag, bungee trampolines, and more.  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 that response is needed again this year.  Five weeks from After Prom, the current fundraising total stands at $7,150. Sponsorships are available at the platinum ($1000), gold ($500), silver ($200), and bronze ($100) levels for those stakeholders desiring to make a monetary donation.  However, parents and community members can also assist through volunteering their time and talents.  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. 

To learn more about this important community event, volunteer, or make a monetary donation visit www.afterpromoconee.com.  Parents who desire text reminders and information from the After Prom committee may also join the Remind101group by texting @afterprom to 678-661-4215.

Thanks again for your continued support of our kids.  It is most certainly “The Oconee Way.”

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