This year, according to Stone, there are 32 businesses planned to be set up at the marketplace. Stone said items will range from candles, stress balls, fertilizer, jewelry, trivets, stationery and cards, refrigerator magnetic clips and more. Only cash will be accepted.
Cooperstown’s program is offered by the district’s Parent Teacher Organization. Carina Franck, TREP$ chairwoman, said others have asked her about the program for use at other schools.
“Some have purchased the program, others are asking questions about it and some are in the preliminary stages of getting it implemented,” she said. “It is kind of nice to be looked at as a model school.”
Those involved in the Cooperstown program are also taking the initiative to invite those from other schools to the marketplace to see if the program would be something of interest.
“It is great if other schools do it because students here can then go visit other marketplaces and get ideas and inspiration,” Franck said.
The Cooperstown TREP$ program began as an offering to middle school students only; however, the outreach has expanded to include high schoolers as well. Once students participate in all the workshops they can return each year to sell products at the marketplace.
Franck said she is anticipating having 20 to 25 returning entrepreneurs at this year’s marketplace.
“The biggest challenge is reaching out to the kids and getting them to return, especially getting the high school students to come back. They get very busy,” Franck said.
Each year organizers host a TREP$ kick off assembly to create students interest, but that is aimed at the younger students. This year, according to Fanck, the gathering featured a local businesswoman from Andela Products (products made from recycled glass) of Richfield Springs who spoke in front of fifth- through eighth-grade students.
“She did an amazing presentation,” Frank said. “We hope to be able to do this again in years to come.”