Canal Creations is heading towards self-sufficiency while staying busy

Students at Canal Creations print production studio at Canal Winchester High School, who aim to one day produce all merchandise for the high school’s Canal Corner school store in-house, have been busy in recent months on a variety of projects.

The top-selling items at Canal Corner were t-shirts produced by Canal Creations, said instructor Aimee Byers, but students also made a lot more throughout the year. They designed and created dozens of cups for bus drivers as part of Bus Driver Appreciation Day in March, made 27 yard signs celebrating the Class of 2022, and made zip-up hoodies for the bus service. district maintenance.

“We learned how to dab (a zipper) on a zip-up sweatshirt,” Byers said. “It doesn’t look like anything, but it’s different. You have to be careful not to burn yourself on the zipper as it comes out super hot.

The Canal Creations print production studio is part of the school’s work-based learning program. Students in his program take an online course that earns them academic credit, Byers said, and can earn one to three elective work credits toward community employment.

Byers said students typically enter the production studio during study rooms, where they learn and work on the studio’s embroidery machines, printers and other equipment. Byers said next year she hopes to integrate the work-based learning program into a classroom period.

Sports team senior banners, which feature portraits of team members, also occupied the workplace learning program throughout the year, Byers said.

The print production lab, which launched in the fall, made about 70 senior athlete banners throughout the year, she said. Approximately 30 banners were produced for the spring teams alone, including banners for senior boys and girls track teams and baseball and softball teams.

Canal Winchester High School Ethan McGlone (left) shows junior Elayna Griffith how to use an ironing press to press a vinyl logo onto a shirt on May 5.

Byers handled the production studio upgrade this year, overseeing the installation of large-format printers, presses, embroidery machines and other equipment so students could learn how to use them. The aim is to produce almost all of the goods for Canal Corner in-house.

They haven’t reached that goal yet, Byers said, but the students have come a long way since the start of the year and worked on big projects, such as making shirts for the Spread the Word campaign: Inclusion Matters at CWHS in Marche to promote diversity and inclusion.

“Before, it was every step I had to oversee,” she said. “With the Inclusion Matters campaign, we made over 100 shirts, and I would say the kids made them from start to finish.

“They weeded the vinyl. They ironed the shirts, they sold the shirts, with very little help from me.

Senior Zade Fusselman, who is an outfielder and pitcher on the baseball team, said he enjoyed the course.

“Miss Byers is awesome and I can have fun with my friends and meet new people and do cool things like that,” he said.

Senior Montana Steward said she started the program this year. She said she already had some familiarity with vinyl, but was starting from scratch.

“I know how vinyl and weeding work, but I never really worked with that stuff until this year,” she said.

Steward said his favorite thing to do in the shop is weeding, which is the process of removing excess material from around a vinyl design.

Senior Ethan McGlone also signed up for the work-based learning program this year.

“I didn’t know anything about it when I started,” he said. “Now I can do anything.”

Byers said she hopes to attract more sophomores and juniors to the program next year. This year’s group has three juniors and no second. She’s also excited to see the program shift to more in-person teaching, as some of the programming was online due to remote learning.

This will help direct the program towards its goal of self-sufficiency, she said.

“I’m really excited to see the growth in the fall,” Byers said.

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Marjorie N. McClure