Marking a milestone at Penn Charter prom

On a warm evening in late spring, the passing of time was on display in full splendor at the William Penn Charter School in East Falls.

Tuxedoed young men and gowned young women, corsages in hand, gathered in front of the school on the verge of another milestone in their young lives – prom.

More than 100 students and their parents crowded the front steps of the high school for photos, socializing, with a healthy dose of proud, beaming smiles.

Three trolleys and two school buses waited in the wings to cart the youngsters off to prom, held at the Sheraton Hotel in Society Hill.

Penn Charter has been hosting prom for more than a decade.

In addition to providing transportation to the prom, once the dance was over, those same trolleys and school buses took the teens to Plymouth Community Center, where parents had organized activities and refreshments to entertain the kids for the remainder of the night. School representatives say it was all part of Penn Charter’s safety plan for the night. 

“This is a way to have a wonderful evening and also ensure our kids remain safe,” said Darryl Ford, head of William Penn Charter School. 

Feeling confident about their children’s safety, parents were able to focus on lighter matters.

“I’m happy that the kids will all be together,” said Karen Daly whose daughter Caitlin was nearby, taking photos with friends.

For parents, students and teachers alike, the spring months are filled with excitement and anticipation, but can also be bittersweet as the graduating class prepares for graduation.

“This time of year can be a bit melancholy,” said Travis Larabee, Head of Upper School, adding that the prom is a nice occasion to bring the graduating class together for one last party before they embark on their next adventure.

As the buses pulled out of the parking lot, parents waved and snapped their last mementos of the evening. Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” could be heard emanating from one of the buses – both a fitting rally call for the evening that lay ahead and a suitable mantra for gaining the most from the world that awaits them.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal