By Phil Corso
New holiday banners will soon beautify the businesses along Bell Boulevard, courtesy of the students of Bayside High School.
In collaboration with the Bayside Business Association, the Bayside Village Business Improvement District has been working directly with area high school students to implement the new banner program, made possible by the school’s own design service, Bayside Creative.
Cheryl Steinberg, an art director and work-based learning coordinator at Bayside High School, has served as chief executive officer of the in-house company, guiding students through the ins and outs of the design business as part of just one of the school’s several career and technical education programs.
“The goal here is to train the students for entry-level positions,” Steinberg said. “Coming out of these programs, the students are much better informed and get a jump in the industries they are passionate about.”
Beyond their classroom education, students participating in the CTE programs receive internships that partner with area businesses and groups, such as the Bayside BID, to connect academics to the real world. But unlike trade-oriented schools, the programs coming out of Bayside High focus on putting students a step ahead for their college educations.
“We’re trying to connect academics to the real world, with work-based learning being a big part of that,” said Elizabeth Guglielmo, CTE development director and assistant principal of arts and languages. “Here the students are the ones in the driver’s seat of their own experience, with teachers acting as coaches and facilitators.”
David Solano, vice president of the Bayside Business Association and owner of information technology firm Solano Associates, has also been assisting Bayside High to connect students with internship opportunities in the area. With his help, Steinberg and Bayside Creative were able to connect with the Bayside BID to collaborate on the holiday banner designs.
And the project has grown gradually since its implementation three years ago, according to Principal Michael Athy, who said the number of students applying to the school has tripled since Bayside High took on CTE programs.
Steinberg said students working with Bayside Creative have participated in workshops and collaborations with experts in the artistic field to learn more about things like photography and graphic design. With scheduled meetings once a week, the in-house company’s CEO said she runs students through a boot camp on how to create logos, label their work and understand the business aspects of working with clients and maintaining a reputation.
The group has already acquired several community clients, including the Bayside BID.
For the holiday season, Steinberg said students working at Bayside Creative designed five drafts of banners for the Bayside BID to consider — two of which were chosen to line the streets of Bell Boulevard through the winter. On Dec. 8, the banners will be unveiled in conjunction with a holiday lighting celebration in front of the Bayside Long Island Rail Road station at 6 p.m.
“They loved the banners,” Steinberg said. “The kids are really excited to be part of their communities and seeing their work outside of the classroom.”
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.