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BC Costume Shop Changing the Community

While preparing for the busy season ahead, the Berea College Costume Studio, under the supervision of Mary Ann Shupe, is undertaking a service learning project that will have a positive impact on the community - creating “Buckle Bears” for the Madison County Health Department.

Lloyd Jordison of the Health Department is coordinating this national safety program in Madison County. The program demonstrates how to properly install children’s car and booster seats. Toy-sized bears wear appropriate seat belts and help to illustrate how proper installation is the essential key to keeping our children safe.

Shupe, who is beginning her 22nd year as costume shop supervisor of the Theatre Laboratory, saw this as a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community and to assist her students in their sewing skills. She and her students use excess fabric and supplies to create the bears which are given to children to keep as a reminder that safety comes first. “Not only is this a perfect opportunity to give back to our community,” says Shupe, “but it is also a wonderful learning experience that will enhance the students sewing techniques.”

The costume shop also has participated in a variety of other service learning projects, including making turbans for those undergoing chemo-therapy, creating blankets for the animals at the Madison Humane Society and fashioning walker caddies for those who need assistance with mobility. “Our community is so supportive of the theatre at Berea College,” continues Shupe. “It’s wonderful to be able to give something back, and the students take a lively interest in the projects. When service and learning are combined in this way, everyone benefits.”

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