Imagine a world where every little girl owns at least one dress.
It is hard to believe in today’s world that there are young girls who have very little or nothing of their own to wear.
A dilemma for two local teachers was solved and the result was young girls across the world will be receiving dresses, and for many it will be the only one they own.
When Memorial High School’s Marsha Swift and Melinda Johnson, FACS/FCCLA instructors, made a second semester assignment for their Family and Consumer Sciences clothing & textile unit, they were introduced to the idea of dressing a girl around the world.
Linda Sloan, Edmond’s Career Tech specialist, introduced a guest speaker during a program for the FACS teacher.
“A former Bulldog graduate, Sharie Wilkins, who is a pilot, was the speaker who introduced us to ‘Dress a Girl Around the World’ in February,” Swift said. “Soon we will have 15 or so dresses completed to give to precious girls who all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. The ‘Dress a Girl’ label sewn on the outside of each dress helps the girls become part of an organization.”
Swift said that when the students found out about the project many of them volunteered to sew a dress and traded their original project in to be able to help a child by completing a service project.
“One of the students said, ‘I don’t need to make a jacket for my dog; I would rather make a dress for a little girl’,” Swift added.
Wilkins’ sister, Terri Hickman, also a Memorial graduate and now a teacher at Centennial Elementary, promotes the program with her sister.
“I have a love for travel and meeting people and during one of my journeys, I was introduced to Dress A Girl Around The World,” Wilkins said. “I had been looking for a way to give back, and I now had my answer. I don’t sew but together with others who have a heart to give back, we are able to provide dresses to children. Not only possibly the one new dress they will ever receive but also joy, hope and a sense of value in a society where girls are undervalued.”
Swift said a local church donated fabric, thread and bias tape to complete the project.
“We were able to pick our own fabric from fabric that was donated, and rick rack and ribbon to decorate our dresses,” said Natalie Elsea, a senior at Memorial. “I have always been drawn to hounds tooth fabric so I chose a piece of that fabric, and I am decorating it with red accents. We received the measurement from ‘Dress a Girl’.”
Natalie said she had never sewn until she took this class.
“This project is fun knowing someone is going to use it and will really enjoy it,” Natalie said. “The dresses aren’t very difficult. I think it is fun making them, choosing the pattern and accessorizing it.”
For junior Paige Morrison it was her first time to sew a garment, also.
“I chose a blue and white stripe for my dress and all of the dresses are sleeveless. I have had to start over three times. The first time the fabric was too lightweight, the second time I made the stitches too long.”
Accepting her challenge, Paige did persevere and finished her dress.
Dresses are sent to areas in the United States including Appalachia, Kentucky, South Dakota and New Mexico and to more than 65 countries including Uganda, Haiti, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Russia, Ukraine, Kenya, Mexico, Guatemala India, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Nepal, Cambodia and France.
Each dress may be the only one that a girl owns, Swift said, and the girls who are making the dresses try to add a special touch so that the child receiving the dress feels she owns something pretty to wear.
The dresses are called pillow case dresses because many of them are made from sturdy cotton pillow cases. The pattern is simple with one end cut for the neck and arm holes.
Bias tape is sewn around the arm holes and become the ties that hold the dresses on, and some small embellishment or pocket is affixed.
“My students are learning about grain line, how to cut a pattern, add bias tape and complete a finished product,” Swift said. “The labels let predators know the young girls belong to an organization and many times they will leave the children alone.”
Johnson said “Dress a Girl” provides patterns and ways to be involved as well as the opportunity to deliver dresses to girls around the world.
The students are joining people from around the world who are forming clubs and sewing dresses for Hope 4 Women International and teams and partners to distribute around the world.
According to their website “Dress a Girl” has delivered well more than 164,000 dresses to 65 countries, including the United States, and 100,254 dresses were delivered in 2012.
People from all states, Jamaica, Canada, Uganda, the UK, Philippines, Australia, Sweden, Costa Rica and Hong Kong continue to make dresses. The first 50 dresses were made and distributed in October 2009.
TO DONATE to Dress a Girl, go to http://www.hope4kidsinternational.org/donation-cart?desig_41263=41263&amount_41263=20.
Imagine a world where every little girl owns at least one dress.
Helping those who are overlooked
With a projected cost of $4.2 million for a new Men’s Center at the City Rescue Mission, Edmond Memorial High School students are hoping they can raise enough money to complete the project.
The student-led Swine Week goal is $375,000 for Memorial’s annual fundraiser, which ends March 14.
Each year for the past 28 years, Memorial students have taken to the streets, completed dares, held assemblies, silent auctions, custom car shows and contacted businesses and residents in order to raise mounder way.
“Whenever the City Rescue Mission presented to the Student Council we saw how they help families and we realized that if we ever have to find a place to stay there is one,” Ball said. “If we meet our goal we realize that we will impact the honey for Swine Week.
Registration open for OU Sooner Flight Academy summer camps
The OU Sooner Flight Academy, an aviation education program provided through the University of Oklahoma Department of Aviation and University Outreach, has begun registration for its five-day, hands-on youth summer flight camps.
Piedmont High School’s D.U.C.K. Week adds Junk/Craft Show to raise funds for families
Piedmont High School has added a Junk/Craft Show to its 11th annual D.U.C.K. (Doing Unselfish Charities for Kids) Week calendar. The junk show will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday and will kick off the weeklong, community-wide fundraising event.
Speech-language pathology program at Central seeks reaccreditation
The speech-language pathology master’s program at the University of Central Oklahoma has applied for continued accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
In accordance with the organization’s policies and procedures, the CAA is seeking public comment as part of its review of the program. Comments on the program, including that of alumni, clinic patrons, employers, graduates of the program and the public, will be heard in a meeting from 4:30-5:30 p.m. March 31 in the College of Education and Professional Studies Building, Room 106 on Central’s campus.
Upcoming statewide events on the campus of OSS
The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathmetics’ Sneak Peek for eighth and ninth grade students will be from 1-3 p.m. March 29 in the Dan Little Residence Hall on the OSSM campus, 1141 N. Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City.
Freedom Project Education enrolls first two students
The Freedom Project Education offered by Liberty Christian Academy has two enrollees. Mary Reyes and Joshua McCoy will be enrolled as seventh-graders in the on-line classical curriculum. It is an interactive virtual classroom.
Fine art auction to benefit OCCC
Dali, Matisse, Miro, Munier and Rembrandt are some of the most influential and prominent names in the art world, but they are just a small sampling of some of the pieces that will be for sale at the upcoming fine art, antiques and memorabilia auction at Oklahoma City Community College.
The Oklahoma City Community College Foundation is hosting the auction of more than 350 pieces on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the Inasmuch Foundation Gallery. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the foundation. The art is being auctioned off by a local dealer.
Washington Irving students decorate grocery sacks
Washington Irving Elementary School fourth and fifth graders put in practice what they have been studying about building good character.
UCO design students dominate ADDY awards
The University of Central Oklahoma Department of Design once again dominated the student categories at the 2014 Oklahoma City ADDY Awards, with 31 Central graphic design students winning a total of 90 awards, more than any other university in the competition. Of those awards, 24 were gold, 34 silver and 30 bronze. The university also won the coveted “Braggy” award, given to the university with the most student winners, and Central design major Ivan Caro won “Best in Show” for his packaging design “Della Terra Fina Pasta.”
“The Department of Design is so proud of every single one of our student winners,” said Amy Johnson, of the UCO Department of Design.
Teachers, students brace for read-or-fail
Third-Grade Reading Test Results
The percentage of students statewide who scored unsatisfactory on the reading portion of the annual Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test has remained flat in recent years.
2009 — 14 percent, or 6,698 students failed, out of 47,395 students
2010 — 12 percent, or 5,901 students failed, out of 48,209 students
2011 — 12 percent, or 5,858 students failed out of 48,611 students
2012 — 11 percent, or 5,457 students failed out of 48,060 students
2013 — 12 percent, or 6,018 students failed out of 49,720 students
Source: Oklahoma State Department of Education
- More Education Headlines
- Helping those who are overlooked