First-year Vandegrift High School fashion design students are already putting their skills to good use: making “pillow case” dresses for special needs children in Nicaragua.

“With Fashion Design being a new course for Vandegrift this year, I knew I wanted to implement a service project into the curriculum,” said Family Consumer Sciences teacher Deanna Bentley. “What I didn’t know is how committed the students would be to the need that was presented to them. This generation of kids is very service-driven. Give them a need and they run with it.”

The dresses will be sent to  the Agape Special Needs School in Nicaragua, which serves more than 200 students.

“Having the opportunity to send some handmade dresses over to the kids in need is the most fulfilling thing I think we could do with our hard work,” said sophomore Meredith Robertson. “It’s really fun to create in general, but seeing it put to good use assures you it was worth it.”

Over half of the children at the school are girls under the age of 18. The school hopes to use the Vandegrift students’ designs to teach sewing skills in the classroom.

“This has been my favorite project I have done in Fashion Design this year,” agreed senior Emily Youngblood. “I love that I get to be a part of providing clothing to those that don’t have as much as we do.”