MONTVILLE, NJ – Cedar Hill students got the chance to show off weeks of work as their eighth annual TREP$ marketplace took place on April 22.
Short for en-TREP-reneur, TREP$ is a program that teaches fourth and fifth graders at the school about marketing a product or service of their own making. The students attend a series of weekly after-school classes where they learn about marketing, advertising and pricing, and then they create a business plan. About 52 students participated this year, creating booths at which they sold pickles, candy, games, phone covers and sushi.
Some booths start off with simple ideas. Alexa Ciliotta and Rachel Abramson, the “Dirt Cup Divas,” served up chocolate or vanilla pudding in cups with cookie crumbs. Customers could customize what candy, such as gummy worms, went into the cups. These treats are commonly called “dirt cups,” because the chocolate cookie crumbs on top make them look like cups full of dirt.
“We looked online and we kept switching our ideas,” Ciliotta said.
“My mom suggested the dirt cups, though, because we like them,” Abramson said.
They surmised it took them about a half hour to make their homemade pudding.
Camryn Benson and Julia Trovato’s booth was called “Cupcases.” They decorated cell phone covers for various types of cell phones.
“We decided a lot of people needed protection for their phones,” Trovato said, “and these make a great gift.”
Benson said it took them about three days to make the covers.
Tim Lee took an international spin on TREP$. Calling his booth “Tim’s Terrific Tastes,” he served up bubble tea and sushi, because these are his favorite foods, he said.
Logan McBurney and Daniel Prelich were the proprietors of “L&D’s Cookies,” which featured giant sports-themed sugar cookies.
“We wanted to do a food, and then decided on dessert,” McBurney said. “We thought a lot of kids do sports, so we thought cookies with sports on them would be good.”
Prelich said it took about two days to make the cookies after school and about three days to ice and decorate them with soccer ball, basketball, baseball and football designs.
Santino Donohue sold homemade mini aquariums at his TREP$ booth. He took small bottles, filled them with water and marbles or small shells, and dropped in a “moss ball.”
“A moss ball is a species of algae that is mostly found in lakes in the northern hemisphere,” Donahue said. “It’s commonly called a Marimo Ball, which is its Japanese name.”
Donohue said he likes nature so he thought it would bring the best of nature indoors.