PLEASANT PRAIRIE — It was all plastic frills, lunch bag vests, robot boxes and the best in secondhand wear as the pre-K students at The Goddard School, 7420 91st Ave., presented their annual Recycled Runway Fashion Show Friday in honor of Earth Week.
The event, part of the “Root for Earth” program held at Goddard School locations nationwide, teaches kids about recycling and respecting the Earth, and also incorporates the arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects in a fun way.
“It combines the ideas we work with and allows them to dress up, which the children always love,” said Sarah Hall, one of the school owners with her mother, Lisa Loveless. “We’re reusing household things and old clothing they might not want anymore.”
The program is part of the school’s emphasis on eco-friendly activities, which include an organic garden and lessons about composting and recycling. The school also has a reduced-waste day during which reusable items are used for lunch.
“I just feel it’s a very important thing that we’re imparting to the children — that kindness to the Earth and a stewardship mentality,” Hall said.
The fashion show makes the point in a fun and creative way. With the help of parents, the kids dressed in their recycled best.
Some, like Wells Sullivan, 5, made an impact by carrying a handmade, cardboard guitar. There were robots and Moana-inspired fringed paper vests and skirts, milk-jug hats and plastic bag skirts.
Some, like Aleema Durani, 5, probably had some input into what they wanted to be dressed as. “A ballerina,” she said, showing off her frilly skirt.
“A fairy,” said Piper Vanderlois, 5, who showed off her wings.
With a song from the “Moana” film playing, the kids marched outside onto the playground in a flurry of floating bubbles to show off their recycled finery to waiting parents, friends and teachers. A few even took their role to heart, striking a pose in keeping with Madonna’s “Vogue” that was played as well.
A few kids, though, especially the toddlers, didn’t all like being on “stage,” reacting with tears. One-year-old Emilio Cristo-Gonzalez was one who wanted nothing to do with it and made it clear by shaking his head “no.”
Then it was time for two of the teachers to wheel out two cribs with the infants, which was met with lots of oohs and ahhs.
In all, the kids enjoyed themselves, with plenty of smiles from the onlookers.
Grandmother Christine Launderville, who came for the first time to see granddaughter Izabella Baumeister dressed in her Moana-inspired, fringed paper vest with a giant flower on her back, loved every minute.
“It’s a wonderful idea,” said Launderville. “They look so cute.”
“It’s pretty neat,” agreed Jenna Launderville, who came to see her sister and one of the teachers, Jessica Baumeister and her niece. “Creative parents.”