- Monroe One
Creekside students model Shelley’s Closet finds in annual fashion show
A successful event like the Shelley’s Closet Fashion Show takes forward-thinking founders, years of dedication, and a great group of students and staff. This was the 5th year of the fashion show. Organizer and Creekside Transition Specialist Jennifer Muller helped it evolve from a small production, to a parade during the pandemic, to the impressive event we see today. Her student volunteers planned the outfits and showed them off on stage. This year’s event also included a hot air balloon photo station made by student Alex H. and a parade around the school to bring everyone in on the fun.
Attending the March 15 show was a special guest. Carol Tavormina used to be a Monroe One BOCES paraeducator. She had the idea of starting a clothing bank for students when she lived in Michigan – years before moving to the Rochester area. That’s also where she met a very special little girl. Shelley was 11-years-old when Carol started helping with her daily care. Now, Shelley’s 56 now, and she and Carol still keep in touch. Shelley lives in a group home, and every week she delivers donations to help others in need. When Carol moved to Rochester and got a grant for a clothing bank at BOCES, Shelley was the inspiration.
“This was a dream I always had,” said Carol speaking about Shelley’s Closet has grown. “But then I left BOCES in 2017. And I'm so happy to be invited back every year for this. I always send pictures of the fashion show to Shelley’s parents, and they're just honored that something is left in their daughter's name.”
When Carol left Monroe One, it was Lisa Magguilli – now a Multi Occupational/Focus Associate Teacher – who started working with the transitional classrooms and brought the fashion show to life. Shelley’s Closet is still growing in Jennifer Muller’s capable hands. More students will soon be able to work in Shelley’s Closet sorting, organizing, and putting clothes on racks.
“Right now, it's mainly our transition age 18 to 21 students that are utilizing it as a prevocational opportunity to practice skills,” said Muller. “But next year, we're planning to open it up to age 14 to 21 for prevocational opportunities. So, we're just increasing the number of students and the age range of students that are going to be able to practice and learn from that retail type setting.“
The clothing bank serves students and families throughout Monroe One BOCES and appointments are preferred. Click here for more information.
As for the Shelley’s Closet Fashion Show, Creekside students and staff will no doubt continue to bring the glamour, inclusivity, and entertainment to the 6th annual show next year.