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Wilcox High School and Pomeroy Elementary School Students Partner Up for Philanthropy Fashion

Students from Wilcox High School’s Fashion Design and Marketing program have been connecting with third-graders at Pomeroy Elementary School to combine philanthropy with fashion design. The program is part of Wilcox’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program.

“My Fashion 1 students at Wilcox High School have been doing what’s known as PBL, or project based learning,” said Mindy Trisko, Fashion Design & Marketing instructor.

“We wanted to give back to the community in some way. My students are so talented and have so many skills they’ve learned regarding fashion. It’s important that they know that these skills can be of use to someone close to us in our community.”

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Project leaders in Trisko’s Fashion Design classes researched local community organizations that needed products sewn for them. The project leaders presented their findings to their classes and students chose two projects they wanted to work on.

The first project was making blankets for Cat Welfare Advocates, (www.catwelfareadvocates.org), a non-profit organization that serves homeless and abandoned cats. The second project was to make pillowcases for Ryan’s Case for Smiles (www.caseforsmiles.org), a non-profit organization supporting children receiving treatment during hospital stays.

“We partnered with three third-grade classes at Pomeroy Elementary School and together, my fashion students were teaching them about different careers in the fashion industry,” Trisko said. “We want to offer experiences for different career pathways and help students get exposure to this at an earlier age…[than] high school.

“The third-graders were learning about what it’s like to be a designer, a pattern maker, a cutter, and also a sewing specialist,” she continued. “On day one, my teenagers were teaching the third-graders how to make patterns.

“They were measuring, adding, making right angles and doing lots of math and geometry,” Trisko explained. “Together they made the patterns for the pillows and the blankets and they also selected the right fabrics. They also cut out the fabrics for the pillows they wanted to make. On day two, the third-graders came to Wilcox and my students taught them how to sew and they were sewing their blankets on the sewing machines.”

On May 15, the last day the two groups of students met, Wilcox students gave the Pomeroy students a tour of the high school’s Auto, Culinary, Art and Science classrooms. A mini-expo in the cafeteria displayed the blankets and pillowcases the students made. Then representatives from Cat Welfare Advocates and Ryan’s Case for Smiles chatted with the students. Finally, students from both grades presented blankets and pillowcases to the organizations.

Jennifer Sanchez, 15, is a project leader in one of Trisko’s Fashion Design 1 classes.

“My teaching skills have improved while working with the children,” Sanchez said. “Children don’t really think about how clothing is made or why they wear what they wear or what is trending at the moment. It’s refreshing because I used to feel the way they do too.”

The Wilcox Fashion Design and Marketing Department is hosting its annual fashion show on Thurs., May 23 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Mission City Center for Performing Arts.

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