Charmaine Abasolo decided when she began homeschooling her eldest daughter 10 years ago that she would put together a prom for home-schooled students if no such event existed in East County. To her dismay, when her daughter came of age there was still no event that provided homeschooled students that high school rite of passage. So Abasolo took her cause to the planning board.
“Kids who are homeschooled still deserve the opportunity to take part in a milestone such as prom even if they don’t attend a public school,” Abasolo said. “I want to provide that opportunity to students who want to go to prom. I went to prom when I was in school and I had a great time. Every kid should have the opportunity to get all dressed up and spend the evening celebrating the approaching end of the school year.”
Last November, Abasolo rallied members of the East Contra Costa Explorers, a support group for homeschool families, which she runs, to start brainstorming and gathering ideas.
And the support group didn’t fail her. One homeschool dad will be serving as DJ for the evening, while another homeschool family member will be taking care of the catering. Other families have pitched in money for venue rentals and decorations.
The Homeschool Prom will take place at the Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak St., on May 18 from 7 to 11 p.m. The $50 admission covers a dinner of salad, pasta and dessert – and dancing. The dance is open to homeschooled students between the ages of 14 and 18. Families from East County and beyond are welcome to attend.
Since homeschool families are particular about the events their children take part in, Abasolo said, she has established some restrictions to assure parents that the prom will live up to its theme: an Evening of Elegance. There will be no rap or hard rock music played and no suggestive dancing allowed. To make sure everyone is comfortable, parents are welcome to hang out and observe the prom as chaperones.
Students interested in participating in the prom must reserve their tickets by Sunday, April 15. Donations for the event are welcome.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call Abasolo at 925-516-0555 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.