The Jefferson City Public Schools Foundation will host its eighth annual "Princess and Papa" dances this spring.
"These dances are a time for elementary-age (grades K-5), female students and their fathers, grandpas, uncles or other special men in their lives to enjoy an afternoon of fun activities ranging from crafts to nail painting, mad-libs, interview questions, cookie decorating and dancing. Photographers will be on site to take a picture of each girl with her plus-one. Pictures are printed the day of the event for each family to keep as a souvenir of the special day," according to a JCPS Foundation news release.
Students from Belair, Lawson, Pioneer Trail, South and West elementary schools are invited to attend the dance March 11 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School.
Students from North, Callaway Hills, East, Moreau Heights and Cedar Hill elementary schools are invited to the dance April 15 at Lewis and Clark Middle School.
Thorpe Gordon Elementary students are invited to attend either dance.
Both dances will be from 2-4 p.m. at their respective locations. The foundation requests only princesses and their papas attend, due to space restrictions.
The $20 cost of the event includes one princess and one papa. Admission for each additional papa is $10. Registration forms are available at the offices of each JCPS elementary building.
The foundation's Executive Director Karen Enloe described the dances to the district's Board of Education last Monday as she discussed the foundation's annual report.
"It's so worth it," Enloe said of being able to put on the dances, despite the difficulty of finding enough volunteers.
Enloe described a meeting with a father the week before that underscored for her the importance of the dances.
The father wanted to submit his daughter's registration for April, though the foundation hadn't even gotten the March forms back yet. Enloe said she met with him, asked if he had ever gone before, and he said he hadn't. She ran through the activities he and his daughter would do at the dance, and he said his daughter would attend each dance because his wife had her going with someone else the other time.
"'I get to take her to the second dance,'" Enloe said he told her. "Then she's double-lucky, she gets to go to both of these," Enloe replied, and the father started to sob at how much the opportunity meant to him.
"It makes me really wonder how many stories are like that," Enloe said.
Enloe shared that attendance for last year's dances was 850 at Thomas Jefferson and 715 at Lewis and Clark.
"We always need volunteers," she said, with 50-75 people needed at each dance.
People who want more information about volunteering, the dances and requests for special accommodations can contact the foundation's Associate Director Morgan Werdehausen at 573-659-2769.