Third-grader dresses up as different historical figure every day

Third-grader dresses up as different historical figure every day

By Stephanie Grimes | Posted - Oct. 25, 2012 at 12:37 p.m.


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OMAHA, Neb. — Most kids get to play dress-up at school one day a year — on Halloween. Stella Ehrhart has done it every day for more than a year.

The Nebraska third-grader has gone to school dressed as a different historical figure or character every day since the second day of second grade. Her parents do not give her ideas, nor do they provide her with costumes, the Omaha World-Herald reports.

Stella, 8, draws inspiration from her knowledge of history and a book: "100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century." The first time she dressed up, she was Laura Ingalls Wilder, an author. Since then, her costumes have been varied: Queen Elizabeth, Rosa Parks, Georgia O'Keeffe and even her school principal.

Her teachers allow it to go on, they say, because they see a brain — not an ego — at work behind the dress-up. They use the low-key costumes as an opportunity to teach, working with Stella instead of against her.

"There are times I even forget," said Stella's teacher, Shari Smith. "It's not an attention-getter ‘Look at me.'"

The girl's parents told the Herald she is fearless, compassionate and creative, writing, drawing and repurposing things for other uses.

Stella, whose parents both work in theater, is currently preparing to play the lead character in a play called "The Bad Seed." She'll be working opposite her mother, Stephanie Anderson.

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Stephanie Grimes

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