Sewing Up A Storm For Faraway Keiki

Among the students in Le Jardin Academy’s biggest summer school to date were 19 girls who spent their course time making items of clothing to send to children in Africa.

The girls, in grades 5 to 9, were able to complete and send nearly 20 items, including shorts and dresses. The items were fashioned from recycled sheets and fabric remnants. This is the third summer the Kailua private school has conducted this community service.

“The program benefits students by teaching them sewing skills and how to use pattern instructions,” said teacher Roxanne Vogelgesang, who shares her sewing expertise in the summer school class. “The kids feel good about creating something and being able to give to kids in other countries.”

“It was particularly pleasing to see how many of the classes ended up in true international baccalaureate style by giving back to the community in some way,” added headmaster Adrian Allan. “The (Africa donation) is just one example out of many of these types of projects. We are proud of the way our students have embraced their roles as ambassadors for Hawaii and shown through their actions their aloha for those less fortunate than themselves.”

Carol Marx, whose daughters Marika (14) and Kennedy-Anne (11) were in the class, stated that Vogelgesang is an amazing teacher and thinks the class is great for the kids.

“The wonderful thing is that the girls saw that from scrap pieces of cloth they were able to make these really simple dresses that were lightweight and very cute for the kids in Africa,” Marx said. “And under the teacher’s direction they were really elated to see how easy it was to sew the dresses.”

With the technology of the sewing machine, the girls met the needs of children in other countries. “I can imagine how happy it makes the others, so our kids felt really happy and proud,” she added.

The academy will offer the sewing class again next summer and also intends to look into sending clothes to other countries.