Omaha, Nebraska third grader Stella Ehrhart is my new hero. Since the second day of second grade, Stella, age eight, has gone to school dressed as a different person—sometimes fictional, mostly historical—almost every day. Her first costume was Laura Ingalls Wilder; since then she’s channeled Joan Baez, Queen Elizabeth, Billie Holiday, Georgia O’Keefe, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and more for her daily outfits.
Though Stella’s costumes occasionally veer into non-historical woman territory—she’s been Elvis Costello, Jan Brady, her best friend, and her school principal, for example—the majority of her inspiration comes from the book 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century. Stella’s teachers have used her outfits as a jumping off point for classroom instruction; according to an Omaha.com article, they:
prompt classroom discussion, some copycatting and further creativity. When she dressed as Rosa Parks, she and her classmates devised a play and designated different people as the bus driver and other bus passengers.
That’s just so amazing I can’t even. She’s cosplaying history! Every day! At school! And she’s spreading appreciation for history and creative expression while she does it! And she hasn’t even reached double digits yet!
Can scientists hurry up and figure out how to clone humans, please? Every school needs a Stella Ehrhart.
(photo: Stella as [l-r] Aung San Suu Kyi, Helen Keller, Joan Baez, Billie Holiday, Grace Kelly)