PITTSBURG — Helen Patterson had never seen her son have so much fun.
Her son, Dominic Johns, just went to his first prom for middle and high school students in SEK Interlocal on March 10 at the Barn At Timber Cove.
“They were all just having crazy wild fun being kids,” Patterson said. “He had so much fun, I’ve never seen him so tired.”
She said it means a lot that they set aside a day just for her son and his classmates.
“It’s great because it’s a start of something,” Patterson said adding there’s few events like this for special needs students.
The idea of having the prom came to fruition after a student had a prom-themed birthday party, which students with disabilities attended.
Many of the students, Kloster said, have never seen their friends outside a school environment, and putting them in the new environment together has its benefits.
“This is a great benefit for them and their families, to be there in that atmosphere,” Pittsburg High School Special Education Teacher Amber Kloster said.
About 80 people showed up, students, families and staff.
Kloster said the event was made possible by the Barn At Timber Cove, which happens to be a jobsite where some of the students work. The venue made a deal with the students, if they work hard and clean the facility, then they can use the venue for an evening.
“It was amazing,” Kloster said. “They provided food and drinks for us too, it was very generous.”
Teachers Jill Kangas, Shirley Williams, Rob Cummings and Debbie Potter, with the help of paraeducators, were also a great help Kloster said, they cooked and helped students find formal wear.
She said they hope to make this an annual event for the students.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.