PALO ALTO, Calif. -- 1865 meets 2010.
When Lewis Carroll’s fantasy novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” was published in the 19th century, it was an immediate, worldwide hit. But could anyone have imagined that Alice’s adventures would be celebrated at a hospital school prom in 2010?
Don’t think so.
But, speaking to the timeless imagination of the Cheshire Cat, Bill the Lizard, and a Rabbit Hole to end all rabbit holes, students from the hospital school and teachers from the Palo Alto Unified School District are transforming Alice’s adventures into an end-of-year prom and party that author Carroll might call “an adaptation to end all adaptations.” (OK, we’re taking some license here.)
It’s certainly the biggest night of the year at Packard Children’s. “An Evening in Wonderland” is the sixth annual end-of-school prom for students and family members attending the hospital school. “Like all proms, this one’s a mix of music, photos, casino and carnival, plus a raffle with very cool prizes,” said Kathy Ho, hospital school teacher and prom advisor. “However, we don’t limit it just to high schoolers, and there’s a reason. For the more seriously ill, this may be their only chance for a prom.”
Just like a normal prom, no parents are allowed, and besides, who wants to see their parent dressed as a caterpillar? “Our philosophy is that this night is just for the kids,” said Ho, who refused to reveal what her Adventures in Wonderland costume might be. “There will be lots of surprises, not the least of which is that our cafeteria will be transformed into a fantasy no one but Alice would recognize.”
Certainly no other prom can match this one, and the guest list is proof. “Some of the kids from out of town, they even plan their ongoing appointments to coincide with the prom,” said Thayer Gershon, yet another teacher holding back info on exactly which Wonderland character she will be. “We expect over 100 kids, with some coming from as far away as Hawaii.”
“It’s a wonderful escape - a fun and festive few hours where kids can forget about everything but being a kid,” said Ho, who wondered aloud if a Mad Hatter costume technically qualified as a tux. “We’re creating prom memories everyone will always remember, and we just love this night.”
Event Info, Media Invited: Hospital prom, 5/14/10, 6p-9p, 725 Welch Rd., Palo Alto.
Twitter: Prom photo updates, 6p-9p, use hashtag #packardprom.
Video Preview: Interview with teacher Kathy Ho
About Stanford Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford
Stanford Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its core, is the largest Bay Area health care enterprise exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Long recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s best, we are a leader in world-class, nurturing care and extraordinary outcomes in every pediatric and obstetric specialty, with care ranging from the routine to rare, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Together with our Stanford Medicine physicians, nurses, and staff, we can be accessed through partnerships, collaborations, outreach, specialty clinics and primary care practices at more than 45 locations in Northern California and 100 locations in the U.S. western region. As a non-profit, we are committed to supporting our community – from caring for uninsured or underinsured kids, homeless teens and pregnant moms, to helping re-establish school nurse positions in local schools. Learn more at stanfordchildrens.org and on our Healthier, Happy Lives blog. You can also discover how we are Building the Hospital of the Future. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.