Main Street Scholars has long been known for its rigorous college preparation and tutoring. Lately, the school has offered several new classes outside the normal scope. 

Charlotte Stein and Jessa Wilson-Shoemaker recently enrolled in a sewing class taught by Dawn McGee of Main Street Scholars. 

With a customized curriculum, the classes serve two purposes: teaching small-scale entrepreneurship and the value of philanthropy. The students acquired shirts that were going to be thrown away from a Silicon Valley firm and re-purposed them into reusable shopping bags that were donated to Coastside Hope. 

But they weren’t done. They continued to sew the shirts into a quilt that was given to Abundant Grace Coastside Worker, the local nonprofit that serves the homeless and low-income communities on the Coastside. McGee explained that students like Stein and Wilson-Schumacher have the option to do work that is of interest to them. 

“The beauty of that, in sewing class, is that we can integrate math and geometry skills and other things into that,” McGee said. “And one of the things that has been close to our hearts is philanthropic efforts.”

While harnessing creative energy and implementing technical skills, McGee said the two students have become adept at the sewing machines after working on hundreds of shirts. Now they’ve transitioned into making trivets and potholders. 

There is also a new cooking class, organized by Shaun Fitch-Fung of Arlychoke Catering. The two sewing students are taking the course along with Yago Casal-Jouaux and Kevin Pacholuk. Together, they have not only created original recipes for spice rubs and blends, but logos, packaging and a marketing strategy. 

If you want to get a look at the work these students have done, the two classes will collaborate and sell the potholders, trivets and spices at the Hatch and Farallone View elementary school holiday bazaars on Dec. 6 and 7. For McGee and Main Street Scholars, these classes provide much more than credits. 

“I just thought it’s such a neat thing that’s different from what we’ve got going on in different schools,” McGee explained. “Just having the sewing and cooking classes, the fact that they’re reaching out and trying to build something within the community, it’s a really special opportunity to those children.”

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