Once Upon A Time at Paul Blazer High School

Lisa Patrick

The Ashland Beacon


   Last Sunday, local children visited Paul Blazer High School for a little adventure that had nothing to do with schoolwork. They were coming to visit Prince Charming, a pirate, and princesses for an afternoon of fun.

   The Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) held the “Once Upon A Time” event in the Ashland High School cafeteria. A flyer for the event was sent home last week with all students in the local elementary schools. The invitation invited all children between the ages of two and 10 to come to the high school to attend a “party fit for any prince, princess, or pirate.” The cost for the event was $15 for the first child and $5 for each additional sibling.

   Stephanie Phillips, the Family and Consumer Science teacher at Blazer High School, wants people to know that these classes still exist. The classes used to be called Home Economics but Phillips said that there “are not many homemakers anymore. Both moms and dads have to work.” Part of the reason behind the event was to advertise that the group and classes are still there. They are now under a different name and the FCCLA replaced the name of Future Homemakers of America or FHA.

   Another reason the class chose this event was two-pronged. Two of the​ students, Maggie Thompson and Sydney Sorrell, have entered into a competition at the upcoming FCCLA State Leadership Conference in Louisville. The competition is based on event planning and event management and it is a rather expensive endeavor, so they needed a fundraiser to offset some of the costs. Phillips explained, “this was a perfect event for the students because they are both part of the early childhood education pathway in her class.” Both of the girls go to Hager elementary every day to work with students in Ms. Moore’s class.

   The children attending the party showed up dressed up in their own princess and pirate costumes. While attending the party, they got to do crafts like create wands and shields, color pictures of princesses and pirates, and the little princesses got to have their makeup done and their nails painted. The children could also make eye patches and paper plate flowers for Belle’s garden.

   The children were served cookies and punch. The cookies were in the shape of flowers and stars and had been baked and decorated by the students in Heather Coleman’s culinary class. Tate Hicks entertained the children by singing songs from “Frozen” while dressed as “Princess Anna.” Many of the children were convinced that they were being introduced to the real Belle and Cinderella. One little girl proudly proclaimed that this was the “best day of my life ever.”

   Kaymag Photography was on hand to take pictures at the party. The children attending could have pictures taken with each (or all) of the characters at no additional cost.

   Phillips said that people tend to not “give teenagers enough credit. They want to be involved and they want to do things for their community.” She said that between 15 and 20 students showed up to help decorate on Saturday and to work on Sunday. She said that the princess party wasn’t “just about fundraising. It was about positive interactions with positive role models.” The students that showed up to work were there for more than two and a half hours without a break and “they did not even get a grade or extra credit.”

   Phillip said that they did not have a lot of up front costs because Missy Griffith at the YMCA donated all of the decorations and prizes that were left over from when the YMCA used to host princess parties. The Student Council donated decorations left over from the homecoming dance. The Family Consumer Science class itself was able to eliminate the cost of the cookies because the culinary students prepared them and Phillips said that was a “big cost.” Phillips said that the FCCLA with everything that was donated, they should not have to purchase anything for at least a few years.

   The FCCLA is hoping that this Princess Party is the first of many. Next year, they hope to push the event more. They want to advertise on the radio and put more signs out in addition to sending the flyers home with local students. She wants to make it more of a community event while still keeping it part of the FCCLA.