Sidney Swiderski, 7, of Oregon, picks orange and green candies to shingle her roof as Penta student Bridget Garrow, 17, of Perrysburg, helps during a gingerbread house workshop at the Penta Holiday Showcase on Thursday, at Penta Career Center, Perrysburg Township, Ohio.
Around the holidays, there are three things that need decorating: your house, your baked goods, and yourself.
At Penta Career Center's Holiday Showcase on Thursday, students showed off their skills and helped customers and clients get all three ready for the season.
"It's a great way to save money and help the students at the same time," said Lorrie Agan, of Bowling Green.
She was having her hair trimmed for $5 by daughter Katie Agan, 19, a cosmetology student. Across the room, Natalie Renken, of Woodville, sat in a chair as her toes dried from the pedicure she had received from daughter Hannah Renken, 17, while she cut the hair of her coworker Melanie Morgan, of Toledo.
"Best pedicure she's ever had," instructor Jan Bain quipped.
The school's culinary arts program and floral design and greenhouse programs also participated in the showcase, literally offering the breadth of the school's courses from one end of the building to the other.
If Santa delivered gifts in a pickup truck, Penta's automotive students surely would have been involved as well.
Instead the jolly old fellow will be filling his sleigh with poinsettias grown on the Perrysburg Township campus, potted as seedlings and now bright red and pink atop their luscious green foliage.
Victoria Yeager, 18, of Swanton, is interning at the front desk of the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg, using customer service skills she gained in the Petals and Plants Floral and Gift Shop as a student in the floral and greenhouse programs. She was at the register Thursday, her day to come back and volunteer in the store.
"They plant those the first two weeks of school," she said of the poinsettias.
Petals and Plants is open from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m. on school days. In addition to poinsettias, student- and staff-made wreaths, ribbon bows, and ornaments as well as commercial holiday items are for sale. Custom arrangements can be ordered by calling 419-666-1120, extension 6344.
The best holiday decoration may be the kind you can eat, although even the children participating in Thursday's gingerbread house workshop in the culinary program kitchen dutifully used all of the candy on their creations and didn't taste a one.
A.J. Rable, 9, of Northwood, squeezed white frosting from a bag to attach a special form of shingles.
"I made a roof full of gumballs," he said.
Culinary students' designs were on display in the school lobby area, including a pueblo home, carousel, and lighthouse.
Autumn Nagy, 17, of Elmwood, who made a barn complete with a white chocolate pig and cow, said assembling the pieces could be difficult but had some advice for that.
"Cook them longer," she said.
Instructor Jim Rhegness said the gingerbread house project helps satisfy state education requirements in both baking and pastry.
"Basically it's project-based learning," he said.
Mr. Rhegness said events like the Holiday Showcase help students hone skills they will need when they embark on their professional careers.
"I like to get the students used to interacting with the public and speaking with them," he said.
Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at 419-356-8786, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @RebeccaConklinK.
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