Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Taking prom online during the COVID-19 pandemic

Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Taking prom online during the COVID-19 pandemic

For thousands of high schoolers, prom is a rite of passage but coronavirus has affected this tradition, leaving many schools to delay or cancel it. However, the Western Pennsylvania School For Blind Children found it as an opportunity to bring students and families together.

“Chloe, I am trying to find you on my screen. I can hear you,” said a voice on a Zoom call with dozens of other people.

It’s not your traditional prom. Seventeen-year-old Chloe Heckman sits in front of her computer with family while talking and dancing with classmates.

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“It was never the thought we wouldn’t have prom,” said Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, Secondary Program Principal, Ryan Reagan. “It was how are we going to make this possible.”

Heckman and other students from the school attended a virtual prom. Reagan said keeping students connected during this time has been challenging but essential.

“I think as a school it’s so important for all students, regardless of disability, and all individuals, regardless of disability, to have these social togetherness and be able to participate in these celebratory events just like anyone else,” said Reagan.

Families are thankful for these moments and all those who worked to make them happen.

“There is a lot of things that upset kids right now, so continuing to have fun in the class, putting on this prom, the parent teacher association worked really hard, to make it something special,” said Heckman’s guardian, Kevin Jones.

The students and staff at Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children are making us Proud to be from Pittsburgh.

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