Students complete professional T-shirt screen printing

Posted on November 8, 2017, in Academics

General McLane students have the opportunity to gain exposure to a new art medium — a professional screen printing station.

James W. Parker Middle School’s eighth graders recently learned how to successfully design a unique t-shirt design. Through this project, students learn how to use stencils and different color combinations to create their work, as well as how to prep the screen, care for the equipment and clean up production. This lesson focuses on creativity and exposes students to a real-life creative job opportunity, while developing artistic ideas and work processes and learning from trial and error.

“Pop culture is an important element of the middle schoolers’ lives. They are influenced by it in many ways including fashion and printed t-shirts are a very common type of attire for them,” said JWPMS art teacher Christina Martin. “I want to show them how to create their own printed products in a very professional manner.”

This project is possible thanks to a grant from the General McLane Foundation. As a 2017 William E. and Mary S. Smith Middle School Innovative Education Program Grant recipient, Martin acquired professional equipment for creation, printing, and clean up.

“General McLane has truly become a district that meets students where they are by providing up-to-date technology to its students,” Martin said. “This technology is leading to a more independent learner who needs flexibility and the opportunity to work in an environment more suited to developing the soft skills needed for the job market they will be entering. Grants like the William and Mary Smith Grant help make this happen.”

The grant stems from former James W. Parker Middle School math teacher Bill Smith and his wife, Mary. These classroom grants provide middle school teachers with up to $500 for special projects/activities/enhancements. Since 2013, thirteen JWPMS teachers have received this grant to enhance their curriculum. JWPMS teacher Chris Triola was also awarded a 2017 grant. Triola’s innovative grant, Modern Mathematics, transforms the physical structure of the classroom from being teacher-centered to student-centered through environmental enhancements.

The General McLane Foundation was founded in 2005 as an organization exclusively for charitable educational purposes that will benefit the students of the General McLane School District. Each year, the Foundation hosts the Holiday Arts Fair and the Golf Outing – two major events that help fund scholarships to graduating seniors.