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Every year the Early Child Education Center host a fashion show that elaborates on traditional wear. The little girls and boys gathered at the cafeteria at ECEC on April 28 wearing their traditional attire.

“A Night of Tradition with All My Relations”

By Angela Willeford
Au-Authm Action News

The Salt River Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) held its 2011 Fashion Show on April 28. Children dressed in their traditional attire for an audience of their families and friends.

Seven ladies worked to ensure that the fashion show went off without any problems. They were Leona Andreas, cultural specialist for ECEC, and the members of the Fashion Show Committee: Patsy King, Donnat Hulet, Diane Johnson, Carmen Scott, Roelene Tahmahkera and Lee Ann Fozzard.

Andreas said, “The reason we [have the fashion show] is in celebration of the national Month of the Young Child, which is April. Every year we open with the pow-wow and end with the fashion show. It is letting the children show who they are; the parents get them all dressed [in traditional clothing, representing] whatever tribe they are.”

She continued, “This year we didn’t have as much [participation] as we had [last] year, but there were a lot more adults and parents who got involved. They were all in different programs, there were a lot from home base.” Home base is a program that allows instructors to go to the homes of young children and give them educational tools so that they are able to get educational experience.

During the fashion show, many of the children stood patiently in line waiting for their chance to shine on the stage inside the ECEC cafeteria. The 30-minute show had children coming and going on and off the stage. Some were shy, and others were eager to stand on stage a little longer to make sure everyone got a good look at their attire.

Preschooler Ava Schaaf, whose mom Yvonne Schaaf emceed the event, talked about her outfit. She said that her grandma Patsy King made the skirt, and “I luf (love) it.” Brothers Ivan and Phillip Largo both participated in the fashion show. Ivan had the honor of wearing the traditional shirt worn by his father Lapo Largo years ago.

Preparation for the event started in March, with Andreas hosting sewing classes for the parents to learn how to sew traditional shirts. It was up to the parents whether to have their children wear their shirts for the pow-wow or for the fashion show.

Andreas said the event went smoothly and she is happily looking forward to next year.

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“A Night of Tradition with All My Relations”