Monday, June 28, 2010

New Vision Youth Prom: "Dancin' to tha Beat"

It's the kind of prom that looked and sounded just as formal as those at Dobyns-Bennett, Sullivan Central, South and North.

But the prom goers who attended THIS one, have a few years to go before they reach high school.

The fifth annual Youth Prom, sponsored by New Vision Youth and the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Community Services Division, brought together neighborhood youth from ages 5 to 13, in a spirit of music, snacks and fellowship. The event was free to kids and their parents.

Click here to see a slideshow of the 2010 New Vision Youth Prom.

Click here to access downloadable pictures from the 2010 New Vision Youth Prom.

(EDITOR'S NOTE - Folks, I highly recommend viewing the pictures. The prom-goers were very professional in their demeanor, and they took some very good pictures!)

The theme of the event was "Youth with Smiling Faces."

"The kids enjoyed themselves," says Johnnie Mae Swagerty, New Vision Youth director. "We just wanted to show them how to get along with each other, how to use manners, and how to treat each other. The guys learn how to be mannerly to the ladies, by seating them, seeing if they need anything to drink.. just have a good time, being gentlemen."

Food included free pizza, chips and fruit drinks.

The event was held at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium Saturday, June 26, 2010 from 5 to 8 p.m and was chaperoned by community volunteers and parents.

One of the highlights of the event, was the dancing, with music supplied by DJ Smiles. Some of the cutest couples were demonstrating their versatility on the dance floor, much to the delight of their parents. Sometimes, it was difficult to say who was having the most fun, the kids or their parents.

"The parents were very helpful," Johnnie Mae says. "They helped with the decorations, getting the refreshments set up. Everybody really had a good time this year."

This year's King and Queen are Michael Bell, a 7 year old 3rd grader from Lincoln Elementary School, and 9 year old Annalisa Richardson, a 4th grader also from Lincoln.

So what did the kids learn from the prom?

"They learned that they are somebody," says Johnnie Mae. "Whether they win King and Queen or not, they are still important. They are kings and queens in their own way."

"Showing that they can come out and meet other people with self-esteem to be proud of themselves," she says. "Everybody gets along good at these proms, dancing and socializing and being the life of the party...that's good for 'em."

"They can dress up, look nice, be hospitable, be somebody, and look good, too!"