SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP - Many students watch designers on Project Runway on TV, but Thursday afternoon, Lakeside Junior High School students got to experience a fashion show firsthand.

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — Many students watch designers on Project Runway on TV, but Thursday afternoon, Lakeside Junior High School students got to experience a fashion show firsthand.

Members of LJHS Club 212, a 21st Century Learning Center, celebrated what they do in the afterschool hours, including a fashion show of styles through the ages, a Glee Club presentation, a display of artwork, awards and a photo slide show of their service learning project at South Park in Ashtabula.

“This is the greatest group of kids,” said Debra Van Gorder, program co-director, as she opened the program. “They are amazing.”

Despite snowy weather outside, parents, grandparents, friends and siblings filled the cafetorium for the “Lights On Afterschool” show, said Linda Coblitz, of After School Discovery.

“Lights on Afterschool” is a national program to call attention to the importance of afterschool programs for children, families and communities. Club 212’s celebration is meant to share what is happening during the afterschool hours in the Ashtabula Area City schools, Coblitz said.

The group meets every Monday through Thursday from 2-5:30 p.m. Extra homework time is also available before school from 6:30-7 a.m. Monday through Friday.

“The students are so proud of what they have accomplished and learned after school, they want to share with their family and friends,” Coblitz said. “Club 212 is an organized, structured program that provides academic coaching and experiential learning, arts enrichment, physical fitness and nutrition and service learning.”

Some examples of the clubs offered are: Movie Club, Fashion Design, Cooking Club, FUNdamentals of Art, Making Good Choices, Jazz Band and Computer Club.

Susan Powers, Fashion Design Club advisor, said the students learn about more than “wearing clothes,” they learn about fabric, texture, sewing and the history of fashion.

“I encourage students to go to college for fashion design,” she said, before introducing several female students wearing stylish outfits from the 1920s to 1980s.

LJHS student Lorisha Hall, 12, said she enjoyed modeling a polyester mini-dress from the 1970s. She was happy her mother, grandmother and uncle made it to the show.

Lorisha, like many of her classmates, worried about everyone getting there in time because of the bad road conditions.

“This has been a great adventure,” said Stacy Gancos, co-program director. “We look forward to new ones in January.”

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