Vineland Schools Ask Community to Help Make Prom Perfect for All Students

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VINELAND, N.J. -

The staff at Vineland Public Schools is hoping to make prom night a special one for all students, that’s why they’re enlisting the help of the community.

“We have a lot of students that can’t afford nice things for prom, they can get pretty expensive," said Dominique Hyder, transition coordinator at Vineland High School. "So we decided to put it out there to the community to see if ... everybody has extra bridesmaids dresses, prom gowns, your son’s old tuxedo locked away in their closets, [etc.].”

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This is the first year officials with Vineland High School’s Life Skills program are trying to collect all types of prom-wear items so that all students can attend the big night.

“We are looking for prom dresses, we are looking for tuxedos or full suits, shoes — dressy shoes. Bridesmaid dresses are fine too because they tend to go both ways," said Hyder, regarding the kind of donations the staff is looking for. "[Also] accessories like purses, jewelry, little tiaras [and] anything that the students might want to wear to the prom ... so they can put their outfits together without spending an arm and a leg, or [without their] parents spending an arm and a leg.”

In fact, dresses will most likely go for under $30.

“Then shoes and things like that aren’t more than $5. Purses are around $5. Jewelry will probably be even below that,” said Hyder.

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The staff plans to take donations from the public and sell them at a reasonable rate at the thrift store, which is run by the Life Skills program at Vineland High School.

“The Life Skills program is a modular rotation program where our students with special needs from freshman year to 21 years old can get job experience,” said Hyder.

“Practicing ironing, folding, ringing up items on the cash register, [and] customer service [are skills students learn in the program]. So, they get an experience all around,” said Connie Giovinazzi, a transition teacher for the life skills program at the school.

Details on how to donate and make prom dreams a reality can be found on Vineland Public Schools’ Facebook page.

“They deserve to have the same experience as any other high school student and their family’s financial situation shouldn’t hinder that," said Hyder. "So we want to provide that opportunity so they can look as glamorous and beautiful on that special day that you take with you for the rest of our life.” 

Vineland High School’s prom is on Thursday, May 31st.

The staff is hoping to collect enough donations to help make prom night one that these students will never forget.

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