Theta Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at East Central Community College in Decatur hosted “Fairy Tale Ball,” its second annual prom for special needs students, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, at Pierce Castle located on Chapel Hill Road in Newton County.
Continuing the organization’s ‘Honors in Action’ program, which began last year, Theta Xi invited students who receive special services from schools in the ECCC district of Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott and Winston counties to attend the special event.
Each year, Phi Theta Kappa challenges local chapters to complete an ‘Honors In Action’ project and provides various themes from which to choose. Theta Xi chose ‘Myth vs. Reality’ as the theme and advisors basically came up with the idea because, working in their capacities at the college, they saw how some people view those with special needs as different, which is a myth. The idea was to do something to make them feel special and they felt like the students would enjoy a prom.
“It was such a big hit and the kids who attended last year begged for us to host it again. Although it is a lot of work to get sponsorships to fund the prom, it is so very worth it to see the smiles on the faces of the kids who attend,” said Dr. Amanda Walton, Theta Xi co-sponsor and ECCC’s director of housing and student activities.
Approximately 30 students attended last year’s inaugural event.
Theta Xi members raise the money to stage the prom through various fundraisers and the help of area businesses that have purchased sponsorships. Students and individuals throughout the community have also donated prom dresses.
Walton added, “The kids attending come absolutely free, will be served a meal and get prom party favors and our students serve as their dates.”