North Texas

Teacher Plans Prom for Special Needs Students in The Colony

A life skills teacher at The Colony High School is organizing a prom for her special needs students and she is asking for donations to help make it a special night.

One visit to Jennifer Shaw's classroom is all it takes to figure out it’s a unique place. Her students have special needs. Some of them are raised by single parents, while others come from families who have had socioeconomic struggles. They manage their situations, all while raising children with varying degrees of disabilities and challenges.

No matter their lot in life, Shaw said her skilled life students just want what any other kid does.

"The one thing that every child or young adult I've ever met is they just want to have friends and be accepted like everybody else," Shaw said.

To accomplish that, Shaw got an idea. A Grand Ball for the 30 kids she teaches -- something the school has never done before. Her students will be escorted by theater students from The Colony. "Prom-posals" were made earlier this month, and the kids are excited.

"It’s really cool," Julia Light, one of the theater students, said. "Because a lot of kids in these classes, they don't really get a chance to go to prom or homecoming."

Shaw said she is looking for donations for the grand ball at The Colony -- especially formal wear for the boys, flowers for everyone and a limo, to drive students around. Anyone interested in making a donation is asked to call The Colony High School.

Shaw said parents are excited for the prom too.  Many never thought their kids would get the chance to attend one.

"It's hard as a teacher to hold back the tears, because I love my kids so much," Shaw said. "And it's amazing to see them interact like this.

"It’s things like that that just makes my job -- makes it all worth it."

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