$5 prom tickets make dance affordable at East High School

Apr 4, 2018, 6:47 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2018, 12:55 am

SALT LAKE CITY — East High School in Salt Lake City has found a way to make prom affordable for all students by making the dance all-inclusive for only $5 a ticket.

A poster at East High School in Salt Lake City advertises $5 tickets for this Saturday’s prom.

“We feel that prom is something that needs to be enjoyed rather than worrying about the cost of it,” said Ainu Kaufusi, student body vice president at East High School. “We wanted to reach out to students who don’t usually come to dances.”

Throughout the school year, the high school has focused on inclusiveness and unity. That’s when student leaders realized that the high cost of the dance kept some from attending.

“Instead of catering to one specific group of kids who can afford it,” Kaufusi said, “how can we include everyone in this school?”

“How can we include everyone in this school?” said East High School student body vice president Ainu Kaufusi.

Organizers decided to change the approach to Saturday’s dance by finding donations to provide charter bus transportation, dresses, photos, a dance venue and a movie activity afterward.

“We have encouraged stag, so just about anyone can come,” said Dalton Hoops, a student body officer. “A lot of our students are economically disadvantaged.”

Hoops went on to say that 60 percent of students at East High School qualify for free or reduced lunch. The school has a diverse student body due to a large boundary that stretches though various socio-economic levels.

Student body officers at East High School stand in front of rows of new and gently used prom dresses that are being made available for free to students.

A clothing exchange, set up in one of the classrooms, allows students to choose from new or gently used dresses. The students hope other schools follow their lead to cut down on the price tag for prom and other school dances.

“It’s been huge,” Hoops said. “I’ve definitely heard kids saying they’re excited for prom in the hallways — so it will be awesome.”

East High School’s large boundary stretches from east to west in Salt Lake City. (Courtesy: Salt Lake School District)

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$5 prom tickets make dance affordable at East High School