African students love t-shirts made by Berkeley Springs high schoolers
A western African elementary school was thrilled with the new t-shirts that Berkeley Springs High School teacher Ron Bittinger’s economics class made for their four soccer teams and school counselors.
The D.E.C. Primary School in Fadugu, Sierra Leone sent photos of students and staff wearing the Berkeley Springs-made t-shirts and holding appreciative signs. They praised the high school students’ handiwork and a local man Gary Stewart who made the t-shirt order possible.
Stewart, a counselor, teacher and mentor for the Fadugu students, had spent time working with their tribe in Sierra Leone, Bittinger said. Stewart had seen a Morgan Messenger article by reporter Kate Shunney on the economics class’ t-shirt business and put them in touch with the African school.
Bittinger said his students were excited about the opportunity to produce 60 to 65 jerseys for kids in another country and continent, he said.
Having their business go international was a cool learning experience for his kids, one of which they can be very proud, Bittinger said.
He said they plan to continue expanding their business beyond the local area and would do more international sales if the opportunity presents itself.
The economics students’ business enterprise BSHS Products, Inc. creates tie-dye and screen-printed t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, pennants and other items for local businesses, organizations, high school students, staff and alumnae and others.
Bittinger said his classes have raised more than $30,000 with their product sales since he started the class in 2008. Around $15,000 of that amount has been profit.
“We’ve averaged about $10,000 in sales and $5,000 in profit each year,” Bittinger said.
Their economics class has financed class trips to the New York City financial district, scholarships and other trips with their profits.
His class is scheduled to travel to New York City on April 27 for their class trip.