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TREP$ Marketplace Coming to Sparta Middle School

Kristen Cernek

Sunday, February 9, 2014 • 7:14pm

SPARTA, NJ- The youth will be drawn to the marshmallow catapults, phone cases, lip balm and custom t-shirts. Glass jewelry, touch screen gloves and wildflower gardens are just a few of the items that will appeal to adults. Those coming with an appetite will not be disappointed either – as chocolate covered crescent rolls, monkey bread, scones and fudge are just a few of the delicious foods that will be featured. All of these items will be available for purchase to all cash-carrying members of the public attending the TREP$ Marketplaces at Sparta Middle School on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb 19 and 20 from 6:30 until 8pm.

The TREP$ Marketplace is a unique flea-market style event in that all of the vendors are students. Over the past six weeks, over 100 children from Sparta Middle School have been participating in the award-winning TREP$ after-school program where they have learned the basics of entrepreneurship. Next Wednesday and Thursday, 7th and 8th grade students will put all that they have learned to the test as they launch their own businesses for the night.

Sponsored by the Sparta Middle School PTO, the initiative is designed to serve as an inspiration for young people to think creatively and to put their ideas into action by creating a new business.

"Educating our young people about entrepreneurship and reinforcing the value that entrepreneurs and innovators bring to our economy is critical to America’s long-term prosperity – more so now than ever before," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

TREP$ co-founder, Hayley Romano, added, "TREP$ takes that desire and turns it into a concrete learning experience from which the kids benefit in so many ways."

Pamela de Waal, Romano’s partner, agreed. "Entrepreneurship education through TREP$ is an empowering self-esteem builder that gives kids a greater sense of control over their lives and futures, de Waal said. “With the support of the community, the young participants of TREP$ will learn the value of creativity, motivation, and hard work.”

This is the second year the Sparta Middle School will be holding a TREP$ market. Some of the lessons learned last year included generating a sound business plan, marketing, product development, and customer service. From selling homemade baked goods, duct tape wallets, and pet treats, the students had  many successes.  This year is expected to be no different.

The Middle School PTO encourages the whole communtiy to come and support the students.  Additional information about TREP$ can be found at www.trepsed.com.

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