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Sunrise and Summit students design, create and market shoes

Fifth grader students at Sunrise and Summit Elementaries have been designing, creating and marketing their own sneakers, thanks to funding from the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation and other funding sources.

Alison Smith, art teacher at Summit and Sunrise, joined the schools as a first year art teacher and was inspired to do an art project for her students that relied on real-world application.

“We have students from a lot of backgrounds, especially students that might not have access to these kinds of opportunities,” Smith said. “I wanted to do something special for fifth-graders since they are going on to middle school next year.”

The art project asked students to start by designing their own sneakers from scratch, with Smith using curriculum from fashion institutes.

“The cool thing about this project is that students who’d never talked about college are now talking about going to Harvard and other schools so they can be sneaker designers,” Smith shared.

The project afforded students the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of bringing a sneaker design to life, from shoe design to 3D printing to sewing to laser cutting and even to marketing. The students will create and film commercials promoting their unique sneaker design.

“The response from students has been tremendous,” Smith said. “We have ‘sneakerheads’ and students interested in fashion who have really taken this project and run with it. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.”

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