Elementary Girls ‘Say Yes to the Dress’, Then Shine at Annual Formal

Most girls have their Say Yes to the Dress moment during prom season or when shopping for a wedding dress. But a few Flat Shoals Elementary School students recently had this magical experience at a much younger age.

Team P.I.N.K. is a mentoring program at the school for girls in grades 3-5. On May 12, it held its annual formal event, the All White Affair, which is a celebration for the Team P.I.N.K. students for everything they accomplished during the school year. With each in their beautiful white dresses, the girls are presented to the audience as if they were at a formal ball. They are served dinner, receive awards, and dance the night away.

Ms. Tina Johnson, a counselor at Flat Shoals ES, leads the Team P.I.N.K. program and said that none of this would be possible without the assistance of a community partner.

student mentee

student mentee

“It is an incredibly magnificent event made possible with the generosity and support of AT&T Pioneer-Lakeside Council,” Ms. Johnson said. “We send them the girls’ sizes, and they go shopping for us.”

“All the fabulous dresses are new, and the girls get to keep them after the event. Once the dresses are delivered to us, we have the parents and the girls come to choose the one they want for their Say Yes to the Dress moment. It really is wonderful to see the girls’ reactions!”

Ms. Johnson originally started Team P.I.N.K. while working at McNair Middle School. She brought the program to Flat Shoals when she transferred there in 2013. They teach the girls how to be good students in and outside the classroom and how to be ladies. They also do meaningful community projects.

“The students were looking for somebody to attach themselves to,” Ms. Johnson said. “They needed an adult to greet them in the morning or tell them, ‘Have a good day.’ Throughout the school year, we meet with the girls twice a month, and we end the school year with this big event.”

The All White Affair begins with the girls receiving a flower and walking down the aisle as they are presented to the audience. Ms. Johnson said the best part of the process is seeing the smiles on the girls’ faces when they put on that dress.

“They look and feel like royalty,” she said. “Some of the girls are very shy at the beginning of Team P.I.N.K., but their confidence is through the roof at the All White Affair.”