PHS celebrates Women’s History Month with their own unique events


Siomara Valdez

An Art Happening piece hangs for Women’s History Month.

Monika Jurevicius, Editor-in-Chief

Palatine High School celebrates Women’s History Month all throughout March with events that impact the community for much longer than 31 days. Two traditions have made their marks on the school as some of their most anticipated activities, “Say Yes to the Dress” and the Art Happening.

Art Happening

Walking through the halls of the main areas of PHS, students and staff can see clotheslines hanging to represent the art happening, a “reflection time of [an artists’] voice.” Nine total pieces are included from collaborations with 50 student artists around the school that signify an important part of womanhood in their lives.

“To see these images or objects to learn, it’s a fun difference of how art is in our culture, visually, and be impactful,” PHS art teacher and Art Happening coordinator K. Lange said.

Artists were given seven notecards to create their piece for this installation. The first segment of the Art Happening depicts the artists’ name and something they find special. Pieces in the middle ask five questions before reaching its final segment where the artist asks the viewer a question.

“It’s all very personal,” Lange said.  “It’s examining voices that are possibly not heard and being able to have everyone participate because, I think, that’s the dream.”

Art Happening has been a tradition at PHS and has gained recognition throughout both Black History and Women’s History month. Last year, artists were asked to make pieces that were framed in pink, displayed in the main staircase. Lange hopes to continue the Art Happenings for the next couple of years as the coordinator of the project. Any student is welcome to join and contribute to this project in any way.

“Say Yes to the Dress”

Much like the TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress,” PHS’s own event of the same name allows students to buy homecoming and prom dresses for $10 to take home without the financial worry of typical dress costs.

“What I love is that everybody is so busy and if you have a family where your mom isn’t able to go with you to purchase a dress, then there’s something special that, when you walk out and you feel confident in that dress, you want somebody to recognize that,” PHS math teacher and Say Yes to the Dress coordinator Joyce Richardson said.

Within the media center cafe, students enter to find racks of dresses, shoes and jewelry displayed, and dressing rooms set up to give a welcoming environment. From an eating area to the shopping center of the school, transformations happen for more than just the physical space.

“We tried to transform the media center cafe to be our own private boutique so that we can make it feel like it’s our own private space and that you’re shopping in a store,” Richardson said. “You are having that full on shopping experience without spending $600 price.”

“Say Yes to the Dress” was an after-school program started in 2009 by a former PHS social worker and dean of students as they received an abundance of dress donations from the community. Local handmade jewelry was made to match dresses at that time. Since then, the school receives dresses generously given to help continue this tradition every year. Funds from the sales go towards continued shopping to supply racks with options of clothing for dances throughout the school year. Adult volunteers also hope it helps young students see how to use their money efficiently while feeling confident with their looks and techniques of financial use.

“There’s a roomful of women saying you look phenomenal,” Richardson said. “Every girl deserves that feeling to feel that confidence not only for yourself, but [from] people around you.”

“Say Yes to the Dress” runs until Thurs., March 23 during lunch periods or periods three to six. Payment for dresses can be made to Mrs.Wolter in the cashier’s office, located outside the main office.