East Flatbush students learn to design sneakers through public school program

Middle school students in East Flatbush are learning how to design sneakers with an online course being offered in public schools around the city.
Students from Meyer Levin Junior High School in East Flatbush are exploring all angles of the sneaker business with the online program Yellowbrick Sneaker Essentials.

"It has given our students an opportunity to delve into something that's more hands on, but academic, without them even realizing that this academics that they're doing, applying literature and text to design and being hands-on, altogether is a model for success," says teacher Marguerite Thompson Alleyne.

The program allows students to learn the ins and outs of making a sneaker, with a curriculum that guides students to a career in footwear.

Students combine that curriculum with books they read in class, to come up with designs.

"At first I was like, maybe I want to be a dancer, but when my teacher, Miss Alleyne, taught me how to make shoes and stuff like that. She taught us the toe cap and stuff. I was like yea, I might want to make shoes now," says student Oyinkan Solusanyoalu.
Once the students watch the online sneaker courses, they create a vision board outlining their design, and then their designs come to life.

Teachers say that with the course, they're hoping to expose students to a career that many wouldn't get a chance to explore.

"When you can take what you've read, you're going to discuss it, you're going to write about it, but then design something. That's art. That's almost like an artist studying a topic and then creating an image. That's next level comprehension," says Principal George Patterson.