Helmsburg Third-Grade Students sell handmade goods at the Farmers Market


If your Sundays regularly involve taking the family to the Nashville Farmers Market, you might become accustomed to the same booths and vendors. Shoppers were in for a treat on May 19 when 17 Helmsburg third-graders set up booths with their own handmade products.

“The students were a great addition to the market,” Nancy Schmutzler Vendor Representative said. “The community of market shoppers showed their support by asking the students questions and buying their products. It was lots of fun for all.”

Helmsburg Elementary Third Grade Teacher Brenda Ely told the Democrat that they also had 41 students who sold goods at the school Market Day on May 17.

“Our last unit in Social Studies was our economy unit,” Ely said. “We learned all about the free market economy of the United States. We also learned about supply and demand and what happens when the supply or demand changes. The kids weren’t afraid to change their prices based on the demand!”

Ely said that the kids were learning about their RIASEC codes during the school year and exploring different career options that connect with their codes and interests. RIASEC is an acronym for realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional. Also known as the Holland code, it is a series of tests used for educational purposes to determine a person’s strongest interests among the six categories.

“The market project fits perfectly with the enterprising, artistic and social letters of the RIASEC code,” Ely said. “The kids had also met many of the employability standards for grades three through five in Indiana. It was the perfect culminating event for so many things that we have learned this year! My teaching partner Malini Stiles and I worked together on this project with both third grades at Helmsburg Elementary. We are so appreciative of Nashville’s Farmers Market for opening up the spaces for us at the market and welcoming us with open arms. They provided us with a wonderful platform for our kids to learn real work skills!”

Students at the farmers market sold various assorted crafts including bookmarks, jewelry, coasters, bubble wands, paintings, keychains, pottery, walking sticks, homemade greeting cards, painted rocks, magnets and 3D printed animals.

“The support that the kids received at the market was absolutely incredible,” Ely said. “We are so thankful that the community showed up for them! The kids walked away with real cash in their hands. They all have plans for the money that they made. Most are saving for something special. Some are donating all or a portion of their profits to charitable organizations. This year’s Kids Day at the Market was a big success and we definitely have plans to do it again. We have learned some things along the way and there are areas that we would like to improve to make next year’s Market Day even better.”

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