HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — Administrators of the Hamilton Township preschool program encourage parental participation throughout the school year. With that in mind, the program held its first Dress to Impress dinner dance for preschoolers and their parents Friday, Feb. 9 in the Joseph Shaner Elementary School.

The children and their parents dined on pasta and salad provided by the Hamilton Township Education Association. DJ Christian Chin provided a range of dance music and taught the children a variety of dances from the alligator to Zumba.

“In the past we brought in a speaker, but the turnout was pretty low,” preschool teacher Laurie Derringer said. “So we tried something new this year by doing a fun event that encourages parental engagement and the opportunity for parents to spend time with their child in the school setting in the evening."

Some parents cannot come to events that are held during the day because of work or other obligations, she said.

"This was a chance for them to just come and have fun with their child,” Derringer said.

Early childhood education supervisor Colleen Bretones said about 80 preschoolers and their family members enjoyed the meal and danced the evening away with Frosty the Snowman.

“We are so pleased with the excellent turnout for our first ever preschool dance party,” she said.

"An event like this is not possible without the support of our entire school community. I would like to thank the Hamilton Township Education Association for generously sponsoring this event.”

She thanked all of the staff who attended to help make the dinner dance a success, and the Hamilton Township Board of Education for recognizing the importance of community engagement and for allowing organizers to hold the event for the students and their families.

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