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Glen Mills Schools -- Printing for the Future

February 2004

It's all part of Glen Mills' mentoring approach to instill leadership qualities. According to Pugliese, the overall structure of the school allows all students to become prepared as leaders as they work in a tightly structured environment, but they also obtain the skills to work in any level of a print shop.

Learning by Doing

Advanced students are able to help Pugliese as a shop aide, where they can delegate work and offer assistance to other students, and run the presses with minimal supervision.

"We teach them the basic fundamental skills of printing," Pugliese explains. "Over the years, I've become increasingly aware of the critical differences that the 'fundamentals' make in successful students who become printing industry employees."

With three print classes per day and an average of 18 students per class, the program has the makings of a small print shop—and these young men are happy to work.

The print shop does all of the print work for the school and for the Glen Mills Golf Course, a nationally recognized public course on the school grounds. In addition to the in-house printing, about 40 percent of the work comes from outside customers, such as staff members, local businesses and community members.

Since the school is nonprofit, it cannot charge any more than the cost of the materials, making it a great deal for the local community and a great learning experience for the students. Many of the orders they receive are for business cards, letterhead, wedding invitations, tri-fold flyers, brochures, tickets, posters and signs.

It's the hands-on experience that sets the boys apart after leaving Glen Mills. Student Sanbeira Thlang is preparing to finish his program at Glen Mills sometime in January or February, and has already made connections with a printing company near his hometown. A native of Stockton, CA, Thlang recently earned a week-long home pass for good behavior. While home, he visited a nearby printer, where he was allowed to run a press by himself.

"It was very scary, but I really enjoyed doing it," says Thlang. "I would like to get a job there."

"Printing is something I will pursue," adds Kenneth Agnew, another Glen Mills student. "I like learning and helping people with the work I do."

Like any nonprofit organization, Glen Mills is always looking for donations in the form of either equipment, supplies or learning materials. Those interested in helping the program can call Pugliese at (610) 459-8100, ext. 317, or e-mail jpugliese@glenmillsschools.org.

At the top of Pugliese's wish list is an A.B.Dick Digital Platemaster computer-to-plate machine to complement the Ryobi press. "There are so many imagesetters on the market featuring the newest technology," says Pugliese. "Our students need to be better equipped when they go out in the job market."

Pugliese and his students aren't picky—any donation is always greatly appreciated. Glen Mills also pays for all of its supplies with the money allotted to the department, trying to stretch every dollar.

"A hands-on approach is a great way for the students to learn," adds Chobany. "It's amazing how fast they take to the machinery and computers. It really prepares them for when they get into the job market."
 

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