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Second-graders channel 1980s in educational fashion show

FORT KENT, Maine — Students learned about recycling and brought their parents and teachers back in time Friday, May 25, during the 4th annual Trash to Treasure Fashion Show at the University of Maine at Fort Kent Fox Auditorium.

Second graders in educator Stacy Belanger’s class at Fort Kent Elementary School

honor Earth Day each year with the show, which inspires creativity among the students as they learn about protecting the environment.

The students reinvent items such as cardboard boxes, paper towel tubes, styrofoam packing and whatever other disposables they can find around the house and fashion them together into costumes which they wear on the runway at the auditorium.

The theme of this year’s show was ‘the 1980s,’ and students dressed up as popular toys and gadgets from the era, including as Pac-Man, a boombox, and a Cabbage Patch Doll.

Cheryl Robichaud, mother of second grader Adrien Robichaud said she was impressed by the fashion show.

Robichaud said her son designed a GI Joe costume out of cardboard boxes and leftover paint because his father, Scott Robichaud, is a member of  the Army National Guard, which Adrien plans to join one day.

“Of course I felt proud of him for having the courage to go up in front of all those people. I hated it when I was a child and I don’t want him to feel that way. I feel my son will make a great leader and this stuff will help him with confidence,” Robichaud said. “I loved how he learned about items from the 80’s. It was nice having a conversation with him about it because i was born in the 80’s.”

Brinley Voisine, a FKES student in Blair Pelletier’s second-grade class, filled in as Barbie during the Trash or Treasure Fashion Show when her classmate was unable to attend.

“It’s amazing to see the creative side the kids and parents have. You can see the excitement and their personalities truly come out,” said Brinley’s mother, Jessica Voisine.

Teacher Belanger’s own son, first grader Drew Belanger, also filled in at the fashion show for a student who recently moved away. Drew Belanger dressed as a box of Runts candy.

Stacy Belanger said she is proud of all 13 students who participated in the event and plans to return the Trash to Treasure Fashion Show next year.

“My students gain a new sense of confidence as a result of the show. They are always nervous at first but somehow they find the courage to get on the stage and put on the best show. Their smiles at the end show it all,” she said.

“The intensity of the music and the energy from the crowd helps to keep them motivated and on rhythm, all those fears just kind of melt away. They come back to school feeling like little stars.”

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