If you have ever purchased one of the shirts from our website, we hope that upon delivery you were pleased with the added touch of the packaging. When we started Reeve’s Tees, not only did we want to distribute shirts that carried positive messages of awareness, acceptance, and inclusion, we wanted to create a nice experience for the people buying the shirts – so that they would know that they were taking part in something special.
The packaging was a way to infuse our special brand of love into every shirt that we shipped out.
This packaging process just got a whole lot sweeter due to the wonderful collaboration of two very mission-focused educators whom I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know – Ms. Leslie Sells and Ms. Suman Mediratta of the Dayton Public Schools.
Ms. Mediratta is the Transition Coordinator for Dayton Schools and she helps arrange for vocational training for the special education students for when they leave the high school and enter into the “real world.”
Ms. Sells teaches the special education class at Belmont High School. She provides weekly opportunities for the students to engage in vocational training that they will be able to use once they leave school. For example, her students go to the local children’s hospital and perform jobs in different areas to learn hands-on skills.
Recently, we worked with Ms. Sells to bring some new types of job-training to her classroom – folding and packaging Reeve’s Tees! Because of the portability of the shirts, it was an easy way to bring real work into the classroom.
While it only takes mere seconds to rip open a package – there are surprisingly a number of very small steps that must be coordinated to package a shirt:
- Sorting the shirts by sizes and types
- Folding the shirts to a consistent size
- Putting the shirts in a plastic package
- Sealing the package
- Measuring and cutting a ribbon
- Affixing the ribbon with a sticker
- Making out a label with the correct size for the outside of the package
- Sorting the finished packages by size and type
After some initial training where each student got to complete all of the steps from start to finish, the students broke up into groups based upon their preferred tasks. Some really loved folding the shirts, while others liked to do the stickers and ribbons.
Through the course of this project, the students learned skills related to teamwork, quality assurance, and persevering through initial frustrations. The outcome was nothing short of fabulous! The students did such a great job and the shirt packaging looks absolutely beautiful! Together this team folded almost 70 shirts in just a few hours.
Today I had the pleasure of visiting with them when I went to pick up the shirts. They recapped for me their various roles in the project and what parts they enjoyed the most, and what they learned from doing this project.
As a reward for their hard work this week, the students were treated to a pizza party celebration, which we hope that they enjoyed. We also decided to make this an on-going part of their curriculum, so we look forward to working with them on the next batch of shirts!
For those who buy these shirts – we hope that when you receive your orders, you enjoy the new love-infused packaging completed with care by a very special group of capable and diligent students from Ms. Sell's Class at Belmont High School!