Students take “Made in America” challenge

Drew Central High School students who took on a challenge to wear only clothing made in America found it difficult to find American-manufactured clothing in their closets.

The challenge was the result of a discussion comparing education in America and China led which ultimately led to conversations about U.S. companies using workers in foreign countries to make U.S. products, according to Karon Parrish, an Advanced Placement Language Composition teacher at Drew Central, who issued the challenge to herself as well as her students.

“I had no idea it would be so difficult to find something in my own closet that was made in America,” Parrish said. “I ended up with two shirts of which one is a T-shirt and one pair of jeans….”

Students found it every bit as difficult as their teacher, with about half of the class unable to find any clothing made in America.

Only one student, Tyler Simpson, found more than two items of clothing. And while another student, Caleb Eubanks, found a T-shirt made of American fabric, it was pieced together in Mexico.

“Collecting information and synthesizing the text is just one of the strategies (we use) in the AP class,” Parrish said. “What impact could a few students actually make on the future of American manufacturing? We’ll have to wait and see how far these students want to take this issue.”

[PHOTO] Students wearing at least one item of American-made clothing are pictured (from front, left) Brittney Sullivan, Sarah Gustafson, Jessica Wishard, Tyler Simpson (from left back) Caleb Eubanks, Lesly Jean-Francois, Amber Barnett and Parrish (teacher).