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Have you ever seen small tour groups of elementary school kids out exploring the Market? Chances are you've crossed paths with Pike Place Market's own Education Program.

The Pike Place Market Education Program was created by the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA) to link Seattle-area schools with the Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continuously-operated farmers markets in the United States.

Since it was created in 1992, the program has taught more than 25,000 Seattle elementary school students about Pike Place Market’s original farmers market, its unique history and wide array of businesses.

This past school year, volunteers (who worked 700 hours total) and staff served 2,351 local students on 101 tours! Most students were second or third graders who studied community in social studies. Students first received information about the Market via in-class presentations and curricular materials on the Market website and resource bag. Three weeks later, they visited the Market. Many classes extended their Market studies by doing food drives or classroom market fundraisers to benefit the Market’s social services.

PDA educators extend a grateful thanks to all in the Market community who took time to connect with visiting students, many of whom were in the Market for their first time. Learn more at pikeplacemarket.edublogs.org and pikeplacemarket.org/education.

With a new school year right around the corner—Seattle Public Schools begin September 7, 2016—here’s a look at Pike Place Market’s school outreach program and the numbers for the past school year.

For the 2015-16 school year, the Education Program:

  • Hosted educational field trips for 120 2nd-4th grade classes
  • Engaged with 55 Seattle and Shoreline schools (30 public and 25 private), though the program is open to any school in the greater Seattle area
  • Reached 2,608 students

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Thank You Facebook Followers

Posted January 21, 2016

Pike Place Market recently reached a quarter million Facebook followers! We were thrilled to learn that “like” #250,000 came from Nicki Vannatter, an elementary school teacher in Kent, WA.

To celebrate this fun milestone, we surprised Mrs. Vannatter’s 4th grade class with a visit from Scott Davies, Pike Place Market Education and Outreach Programs Manager.

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Scott gave a presentation to the class about Pike Place Market, and presented Mrs. Vannatter with a tote bag full of Market goodies, including a personalized Market Charm to hang on the new MarketFront and a bouquet of 25 fresh cut tulips (which turned out to be her favorite flower and favorite color!).

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As anyone who has visited Pike Place Market can attest, the experience can be a bit of a sensory overload, especially for young kids who may not be able to see over the crowds.

But with the Market's Education Program, kids get an up close and personal look at the entire Market, from its history to its vendors and community aspects. The program is open to Seattle-area students in second through fifth grade.

The program begins with a classroom visit from program director Scott Davies, who gives a presentation that includes a history role play and a presentation on the Market's farmers. He then leaves behind a resource kit for the teacher to use in the classroom. And three weeks later, the students visit the Market for a field trip.

“We share stories about the Market and introduce them to merchants and we work on an assignment that focuses on the foods, jobs, and countries of the world as it relates to products and people that represent different countries, pointing to the diversity of the Market," Davies says. "These grades often study community in social studies so the market is a perfect example of a very vibrant, lively, diverse community so they learn about the market community in all its wonderful aspects, from the social services to the residents to the diversity of products sold here."

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