By Michael Pepin
The multicolored hoard of FC fans scream out “‘Merica!” as their team scores yet another touchdown against Madison High School. “Green, gold, and white is the new red, white, and blue.” The t-shirt was designed by a group of students, a product of the FC business class.
Each week, the students come up with a unique t-shirt design to sell for that Friday’s football game. “My students learn about the market process of designing shirts that people are willing to buy, doing some research into what people are willing to do, and working under a time frame,” said business teacher Chris Street. Each shirt carries a theme that also serves to stoke the fires of the school spirit and give the students a chance to show their creativity in the real world.
Street and his class come up with the ideas by brainstorming, then collaborating with cheerleaders and the administration. “We talk with the cheerleaders and several ideas are worked out, and then take the one that wins to get it approved by the administration. We want to be fun, but also respectful,” said Street.
The Providence’s “Four years, four wins” slogan, as well as “‘Merica!” and this Friday’s blackout themed Jeffersonville High School game were all ideas that they created using this process. Out of all the shirts, the Providence’s theme shirt sold the best. The profits the t-shirts earn help fund the Highlander Outfitters store.
The class has students thinking seriously about life beyond high school. “For my future, I need to learn how the business world works, and I really like Mr. Street,” said senior Sarah Engle. She said that she also uses the class to stay involved in the school.
This strategy is also helping students who take the class learn more about the business world. “My parents own a business, and one day I’m probably going to take it over, so I wanted to learn the ins and outs of it,” said junior Isaac Nasseem.
Selling t-shirts is not the only lesson the students learn in class, they also learn about real world businesses and how they operate. The t-shirt campaign is a project by Street as a method of teaching the experience of running a business first-hand.
“You get to learn every aspect of running and maintaining a business. It’s a fun class because it’s hands-on and you learn valuable lessons you can take with you anywhere,” said Street.