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Willamette's Marketplace lets fourth- and fifth-graders raise money for field trips



Marimba music filled the air, competing with the shouts of student vendors advertising their handmade wares: “Last one!” “Fifty cents!” Excited shoppers milled around, comparing options and visiting all the tables to make sure they found the perfect items at the very best prices.

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Charlotte Maples shows her handmade jewelry to a prospective customer.The occasion was Willamette Primary School’s second annual Marketplace, held April 9. The event was a fundraiser, with money raised going to two causes, a local charity and the school’s own field trip fund.

Students flocked into the market, held in a covered area outside near the playground. Many of the shoppers, especially the youngest, clutched plastic bags with bills and change safely zippered inside.

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Wyatt Bailey sells his handmade coasters at Willamettes Marketplace April 9.The options were myriad. Dog biscuits, Minecraft-themed artwork and bracelets in materials ranging from pipe cleaners to tiny rubber bands. And if a shopper needed anything — anything at all — made of duct tape, this was the best place to find it.

This year, seven classes of fourth- and fifth-graders had worked to create items to sell.

“It’s the biggest one ever,” Willamette teacher Tina Allahverdian said. She was the force behind the marketplace, which is modeled on a similar event at nearby Stafford Primary School, where she taught for several year.

“I brought it here,” she said.

Paige Campbell and Anthony Molina were two of the students working at the event.

“It’s a fundraiser to help our field trips,” Paige said. “We’re going to the beach, to study the sea.”

She was selling clay charms, for $1 each, in an array of styles.

“There’s basketballs, hamburgers, birds,” she said. “My sister helped make them.”

Anthony was selling tubs of Flubber and at first had priced them at $1.50 each.

“I’m selling out now, so I had to bump it to $2,” he said. “That’s just business.”

Both the students were enjoying the change to their regular school routine.

“It’s your last year, so you really have to enjoy it while you can,” Paige said.by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Fourth-grader Max Kelley keeps tabs on his sales for the day.

“It is more fun than being in a class,” Anthony said. “Out here, you’re learning with money and learning how to advertise.”

Their classmates, Hannah Gregor and Max Doman, also had put thought into the items they were selling.

Hannah came up with an invention of her own: octosocks. She and her mother had worked together to make about 30 of them.

“They’re octopuses made out of socks, stuffed with beans,” she said. “They’re really fun to play with.”

Sales were brisk. Hannah had sold 12 octosocks in less than an hour, for $2 each.

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Fifth-grader Max Doman shows one of his marshmallow shooters - one of the hottest items at the sale.Max was selling marshmallow shooters, for $5 and $6 each, depending on size. He was a pro at both making and selling them.

“Last year I sold out really fast,” he said. This year, he increased his stock. “I made 10 more, so I made 50.”

He spent two days cutting and assembling pieces of PVC pipe, including lengths cut from 17 feet of half-inch PVC, 100 elbow joints, 100 T joints and 100 end caps.

“Last year I made $205. Since I made 10 more, I think my total will be more like $260,” he said. “Looking at the bags, it looks like we’re almost out.”

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Carlos Andrade makes the sale with one of his monsters.All the vendors agreed that putting on the marketplace had been a lot of work — but it was worth it.

“It’s really fun to spend the day outside,” Max said.

“I think other schools should do this,” Hannah said. “It’s really fun making money for a good cause.”


By Kate Hoots
Education reporter
503-636-1281, ext. 112
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