BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) — The design and screen printing program at the Keith Center in Brockton pushes students to use their creativity to produce a product, said Robert Leary, who teaches the course.

He noted, however, that the class does more than just teach students how to design apparel.

"I think it helps them by giving insight into how a small business would run," he said. "They know what things cost and how to meet customers' demands. It also gives them the opportunity to use their creativity when designing the shirts."

The students do good work, he added.

For instance, you might have spotted players and coaches of two high school football heavyweights, Brockton and Bridgewater-Raynham, sporting sweatshirts designed by the budding designers during the Cape Cod Cafe Bowl, he said

The sweatshirts for that event were sponsored by Tuxedos by Merian and Cape Cod Cafe, who also purchased the screens, he said.

The class, at 175 Warren Ave., has enrolled 34 students who attend alternative schools The Goddard School, B.B. Russell and Champion High School.

Before taking it on, Leary taught design and screen printing at Southeastern Regional High School as well as to inmates at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility, he said.

In the course, the process of designing and printing the shirts is done by the students, with Leary supervising. First, students create a design, or that of their client's, and enter it into the computer. Then it gets printed, he said.

From there, the artwork is placed on a silk screen for exposure, then washed. It's then put on the press, where Leary said the ink is wiped off. The item is then dried in an oven. Students then prepare the merchandise for delivery.

Besides designing the garb for the football game, students also designed apparel for the South Shore Boxing Club and Brockton Children's Fund.

Still, Leary said he and his class welcome more business.

"I'm hoping that nonprofits and businesses consider us when they're doing events like a walk," he said. "We'd be happy to do them."

Proceeds made from any sale go to the Brockton Educational Fund, he said.