St. Paul Catholic Elementary School in Norwood will be sending 160 dresses to girls in impoverished countries around the world – one for every girl in their school.

The Grade 5 – 8 students, many of who had never used a sewing machine before, transformed plain cotton T-shirts and fabric into vibrant works of fashion. With pockets, lace, polka dots, stripes, flowers and plaid, the dresses will be shipped across the world to girls in impoverished countries – where not owning a dress can mean not going to school.

“Clothing is not only a necessity of life, but it gives a person dignity,” said Michael Nasello, Director of Education, Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic School Board. “I’m so amazed that there is an initiative like this and that it’s involving students and adults working together to do something good for young people around the world.”

Spearheaded by Special Education Resource Teacher Michelle Keating, the project brought all levels of the school community together. Mr. Nasello, Superintendent Timothy Moloney and Principal Rob Citro also contributed to the project, making their own dresses under the supervision of experienced Grade 8s.

This project demonstrates the power that community collaboration can have on a global scale. Working together under one vision allowed students, teachers and their community to touch the lives of little girls in impoverished countries, and strengthen their gratitude and faith in the process.

Bringing communities together to help those in need is exactly what we want for our students and larger world.  Help us continue our work by sharing this story with your community.

Together, we are building communities of faith.

Explore St. Paul’s project website today: