Marketplace Fair moves away from the old paradigm of education as geared towards individual success of certain “talented” or “gifted” children towards a model that gives all children practical tools. We offer each and every child the thrill of experiencing themselves as active members of collaborations in purposeful projects that enable the shaping of their own sense of identity and their meaningful contribution to the world.
Over several weeks, children develop projects together that enable them to practice mindfulness around creative entrepreneurship (how to make the money) and generosity (how to spend it). They learn the value of fiscal responsibility, collaboration, generosity and democracy through practicing those very things. Fiscal responsibility is not something that children simply hear about. At Marketplace Fair classrooms are places where fiscal responsibility- both individual and collective- is practiced.
The project centers around networks of individuals, connected through meaningful exchange of skills within the context of a broader purpose (micro-loans). These networks of students, teachers, parents, entrepreneurs and volunteers are therefore also reaching out into a global collaboration with those in other countries.
Marketplace Fair teaches students to show up as responsible actors in their own lives and in the life of their global community by allowing them to practice this very skill, not simply through lecturing them about it or applying abstract tests of “understanding”. It recognizes that schools must become part of children’s everyday lives from a young age, not as an addition to those lives. By allowing students to walk the walk, Marketplace Fair allows children to be the people that this world needs so desperately: those with responsibility to self and to community.
The Marketplace residency is 16 weeks:
14 classes, each 45 minutes long, led collaboratively by classroom teachers, Marquis Studios teaching artist, and for certain classes a financial educator.
The remaining two weeks of the residency are the Marketplace Fair and the follow-up award ceremony.
Elements of the curriculum are:
• Students in each class borrow $100 to make a KIVA micro loan. They will repay the loan with earnings from a business they develop.
• Students vote by secret ballot for one of two African candidates to receive the KIVA micro loan and then share with the class their decision making process.
• Students study a foreign marketplace as well as their own.
• Students learn the concept of money and various ways it is used.
• Students begin to prepare to start their own business for the Marketplace Fair.
• Students design and create African inspired products to sell at the fair.
• Students make group decisions about how their products will be advertised and sold.
• The money the students make at the Marketplace Fair repays the loan they took to make the KIVA loan, while the remainder is donated to a local charity of their choosing.
• The students’ reward for profit is an award ceremony and a pizza party.
The residency begins in the 3rd grade with the 16 week residency. Mini residencies and collaborative programs with other organizations will continue the program in the 4th and 5th grade at each school. The curriculum and funding for the 4th and 5th grade programs will be determined by collaborating with our partners.
The Kent brothers initially began designing a financial education curriculum as a “one size fits all” model for public schools, instead they got something infinitely better – a collaborative partnership. The curriculum has steadily evolved and improved with Marquis Studios 33 years of experience and the NYC public schools commitment to financial literacy. Marquis Studios and PS 282, PS 307, and PS 340, worked together to create a planning process with school administration and teachers to integrate new financial literacy lessons with existing 3rd grade curriculum. Other partners: business, government, and non-profit organizations, are helping us findways to extend the financial learning to parents and the community.
MARQUIS STUDIOS is our administrative partner for all New York City Public Schools