Milton Hershey School Middle Schoolers Design Jerseys for the Hershey Bears
Milton Hershey School has a long history of career-focused education. The concept of learning by doing has been engrained in the school’s history for more than 110 years. Through great partnerships—like the one MHS has with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, a company with the same founder, Milton S. Hershey—students learn from professionals, not just their teachers.
Recently, a group of Middle Division students were approached by the Hershey Bears organization to inspire its latest specialty jersey—one designed by children.
“We had no idea when we signed up that we’d get to meet Hershey Bears players while creating the design,” said Brianna Niswonger, an MHS sixth-grade student. “It was a super exciting project because not every kid our age gets to actually do something like this.”
In November, four Hershey Bears players went to Catherine Hall to meet with the group of art students. As the students learned more about professional ice hockey, the group worked together to redesign the team logo using colors to symbolize the future of hockey.
“It quickly became apparent how special this opportunity was,” said Corrie Edris, MHS Middle Division Art Teacher. “While thinking the activity in the fall was special, seeing the culmination of it coming to life brought it full circle. It’s one thing to create something, it’s another to have thousands of people see it.”
On Sunday, March 26, Hershey Bears players wore the jerseys designed by MHS students in their game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Each student who helped design the jersey was invited to the game to see their creation in action and got to high-five the players in the tunnel before the players stepped onto the ice. Following the game, the jerseys were auctioned off to raise money for several local charity organizations.
“What’s really unique to MHS are the partnerships and connections the school has with the greater Hershey community,” said Edris. “The real-life authentic experiences—in this case connecting art, design, and illustration—really help us teach career-focused education. This project was the perfect way to illustrate what’s possible for their futures by connecting what we’re teaching in the classroom to something in the real world.”
The MHS Career and Technical Education program is part of the school’s whole child approach to education. This helps students overcome obstacles that stem from poverty. Career and technical education can break down barriers. It empowers students to discover their unique talents and passions at a young age. It gives them the tools to pursue their interests.