CHICAGO (WLS) --A program that helps defray the cost of prom at a Chicago high school is on track to be cut due to the CPS budget crisis, but community members have stepped up to help students at Amundsen High School in Lincoln Square.
The program gives rewards, a $25 gift card, for example, after a student does well. Principal Anna Pavichevich set aside $2,000 last fall for the program, but CPS wants the money. Just last month, principals were asked to make mid-year budget cuts.
"For a good percentage of our students they are the first to graduate from high school," Pavichevich said. "Prom is a significant family event."
The neighborhood group, Friends of Amundsen, took to Facebook Thursday night to solicit donations, and by extension, salute Pavichevich.
"We are supporting the kids too," said Amy Williamson, of Friends of Amundsen. "The kids that are there we want them to have the same kind of fun prom that they've had in years past."
The program is one of many things that Pavichevich employed to help turnaround the school in the last few years. The school was deemed failing and on academic program, and has safety issues.
"So after getting a year of attendance over 92 percent, and passing all of their classes and filling out FAFSAs and applying to three or more schools and getting scholarship money we like to reward them," said Pavichevich, who took over in 2012.
Pavichevich, who started as a special education teacher, added: "These small things really change students' lives and really make them feel valued and respected," an Amundsen special education teacher said.