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Parkwood Key Club hits 23rd year hosting special needs prom

Parkwood High School Key Club members enjoy dancing with students from throughout the county during the 23rd annual Special Needs Prom held Friday (May, 2, 2014) at First Presbyterian Church.

For the past 23 years Parkwood High School Key Club students have brought joy and tons of fun to thousands of UCPS special needs students.

It began in 1991 when the school’s Key Club hosted its first Special Needs Prom, then given specifically for Wolfe School high school students.

Over the past two decades, however, that tradition has evolved to include UCPS high school students throughout the county, all part of the Transition to Adulthood classes.

The prom, held at First Presbyterian Church in Monroe on Friday, (May 2, 2014), was given in honor of approximately 150 UCPS students -- all of whom seemed to thoroughly enjoy this high school rite of passage.

The planning for the annual event has been ongoing since Christmas. Haiden Laney, Parkwood High School Key Club advisor, said it took approximately 45 Key Club members to pull all the planning together into this very popular formal dance.

Key Club president, Lindsay Martin, 18, a senior at Parkwood High School, said everything went very smoothly.

Students began setting up the night before the prom, turning the large meeting room at the church into an “underwater” adventure.

“We had enough people that getting everything set up went perfectly fine,” Martin said. “It went very smoothly.”

Martin said this is her favorite Key Club project. “It’s a chance for us to do something that benefits our community. Most everyone gets to go to the regular proms, but we give a prom for those kids who can’t. Just to see all of these students smiling and having such a great time, it’s pretty fantastic.”

Students danced again this year to the tunes provided by Jimmy Huntley, with Bass FX in Monroe. The room glittered with decorations accenting its theme of "Under the Sea."

Wolfe School principal Mary Jo Breckenridge said besides having loads of fun, the event improves her students’ social skills.

"This is the best day of the year for them," she said. "Our students look forward to this day all year. Parkwood High does an amazing job and this year they’ve outdone themselves.”

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: May 05, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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