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February 7, 2013

Entrepreneurship program is gaining lots of interest

This will mark the fourth year Cooperstown Central School students have been able to run their very own “flea market” style marketplace. Soon other students from area schools might get the same opportunity.

The marketplace is the end product of a six-week after-school entrepreneurship education program called TREP$. It was created by Pamela deWaal and Hayley Romano, two certified teachers who reside in West Milford, N.J.

The program began when their then-10-year-old sons decided to go into business together selling hand stamped wrapping paper at an adult vendor night at the school. The boys sold out of their product and shared their success story with their peers. Based on the merits of the program, the Paradise Knoll Parent Teacher Association earned the New Jersey PTA’s Champion for Children Award for best new program.

Impressed with Cooperstown’s success with the program,Otsego County Chamber Executive Director Barbara Ann Heegan, said there has been discussion of the Chamber possibly purchasing it and offering to all schools in the county. 

“We are still in the conversation stage of things, but we certainly want to lend support to the current program at Cooperstown,” she said. 

According to Heegan, the chamber will help by assisting with making connections with local business people and speakers. 

Heegan said the idea of purchasing the program will be brought to the Chamber’s Education Committee at its meeting on Feb. 12. 

On Sunday, Cooperstown students will be setting up shop and selling their products and services that they have been developing. The marketplace will be open from 1 to 3 p.m. at the middle/high school gymnasium. According to workshop facilitator Rebecca Stone, last year was not the most profitable of all the years, but there were more businesses. She said there were 37 businesses represented at the marketplace that brought in a total of $2,409. In 2011 the marketplace profited $3,226, and in its inaugural year it profited $1,754. 

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