The school year is over, and the kindergarten teacher gets her students to decorate her white sleeveless dress with their signatures and messages instead of writing them down in a yearbook.
Ashley Hicks gets a bit of a brainstorm while cleaning out her closet when she finds a dress which she'd rather put away but instead finds a good use for.
Hicks, who teaches at Enterprise Elementary school Wichita, made her students sign and express themselves on the dress as their school year project.
Her class which comprises of 17 5 and 6-year-olds was joyous as they got to write and draw whatever they wanted on their portion of the clothing with fabric makers of different bright pastel colors. She revealed that the activity was to create long lasting memories in the minds of the children.
Hicks wore the designed dress to pick them up from the gym, and the little ones were overjoyed to see their work of art on their teacher. And she promised to keep it and wear it for each of their graduations.
Some of the messages the children wrote are:
“Have a great summer," “I love rainbows” amidst drawings.
Later, when the media caught wind of this inspiring innovation, Hicks revealed she wanted the kids to know that they were part of this work and uplift them.
Hicks, 35 who doubles as a teacher and bakery owner is very passionate about her work. She feels the work of a teacher can be overwhelming and stressful most times; teachers need a lot of encouragement as there isn't so much acknowledgment for them.
Although the kids will graduate from her class, she hopes to keep in touch with every one of them and attend their graduations. In her words:
“Those relationships when you make them right when they're young, you never lose them."
Although the lovely teacher got lots of good reviews on the internet, she was also criticized by a minority about workplace ethics. She explains while laughing that she wasn't in the dress while the children were signing. Hence they didn't write on her bosom!
Hicks, who has been teaching for almost 20 years, hope to make this dress signing activity a tradition in her class and hang it on the wall. High trauma schools cater for children going through behavioral issue and kids who have been through a lot like the loss of someone close like a relative or who have spent time in foster care.