- Carol Rae Ranch Elementary
TOYBOX Preschool to launch new designs made by CTE students
Two talented students from Campo Verde High School have created original designs that will soon be used district wide and throughout the community. The new logos created by Gage Lopez and Ashlyn Hitchings will be used to promote the TOYBOX Preschool program offered at five of our GPS high school campuses.
“TOYBOX had an outdated logo, and it kind of got to the point where we weren’t using it anymore. I wanted to create a new one,” said Hollye Morales, the marketing and communications specialist with the Gilbert Public Schools Community Education department.
TOYBOX Preschool is established as a laboratory setting on high school campuses, allowing high school students to gain experience working in an early childhood education environment as part of their Career & Technical Education (CTE) coursework. Preschool-age children enrolled in TOYBOX are taught all subjects, including language and literacy, STEM, social studies, art, music and physical education.
“TOYBOX is a CTE program, and so we really wanted to incorporate that,” Morales said.
She sought out another CTE program at Campo Verde, connecting with digital photography instructor, Lindsey Wallace. For the second-year students in her class, Wallace had them work with Morales as a client. They learned about the TOYBOX program, branding and design requirements for the logo. From there, they were free to use Photoshop to create from their own inspiration.
“When I was a kid, I had a teddy bear and stuffed animals. It’s a little kid program, so I thought it might be a cool thing to put in it,” said Lopez, who is a senior.
He used the teddy bear as the focal point of his logo and incorporated the district’s blue and gold colors as well as the green color associated with TOYBOX. Morales was very impressed with what Lopez was able to come up with for his design.
“We really liked how professional it was. The ‘Gilbert Public Schools’ was on it and ‘TOYBOX Preschool.’ Even though it’s a teddy bear, the logo still looks really classy, high-end and modern,” she said.
Lopez’s design was chosen to be the new primary logo for the program. It will be used mainly in the community and for external audiences. As for Hitchings, her design will be the secondary logo, mostly internal, for TOYBOX to be used on t-shirts for staff and students.
“I really just wanted to keep it simple and a clean look,” said Hitchings, a sophomore at Campo Verde.
In her logo, she incorporated the district and program’s colors and branding, but added a twist by using a crayon image to help associate it with younger children.
“It was cool and contemporary. I think it was the perfect marriage of the high school influence and preschool coming together,” Morales said, “If I put it on a shirt, the high school students wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear it.”
Hitchings is extremely proud of her work and for having one of the chosen designs.
“Coming into photography, I really wanted to get a photo on the wall, or something like that. I just wanted my work to kind of be known a little bit. It just felt amazing to know that my work was appreciated,” Hitchings said.
The Digital Photography program teaches students the basics of how to use a DSLR camera, the history of photography, photo editing and graphic design. Wallace also incorporates projects for students to learn how to use their skills in career scenarios, which includes working with clients like Morales and others. Through the TOYBOX project, Morales was able to provide feedback to all of the students in the class.
“They are kind of learning how to be out in the real world, and they actually do get hired by people around campus or by a family friend,” Wallace said.
It’s a great experience for students while still in school. Many of Wallace’s former students went on to pursue photography or graphic design careers.
“You can take the skills here and go anywhere with them,” she said.