SOMERVILLE, NJ – Saturday’s craft fair at Somerville High School came about as a result of a challenge posed to a group of ten students by a professor at Raritan Valley Community College.

Their assignment: organize, publicize and execute a live event.

The students are enrolled in a workforce development program that offers students an alternative to college preparatory courses, focusing instead on career options in six areas: hospitality, retail, child care, public safety, food handling and food service, according to Linda Kemper, a 9th grade biology teacher and advisor to the group.

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The high school program is run in conjunction with RVCC; professors from RVCC advise on each of the six career tracks.

“They’ve been planning this for two months,” Kemper said. “The students are excited to see how this will turn out.”

The Somerville High School Holiday Gift and Craft Fair will feature 38 vendors in the school’s cafeteria from 9 am-2 p.m. Dec. 19th.

Admission is free. The school is located at 222 Davenport St.

Vendors will be selling hand-crafted children’s clothing, books, jewelry, skin care items, crochet and embroidered items, wood carvings, garments made from Alpaca fleece and other specialty items, perfect as Christmas gifts, according to Kemper.

The students were overwhelmed by the response from vendors hoping to register for the event; more than 70 vendors were turned down because of space limitations, according to Kemper.

The students voted to donate the registration fees collected from the vendors to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center on Route 22 in North Branch, according to their advisor.

“When she realized where the money was going, one of the vendors offered to give half of whatever she makes that day to St. Hubert’s, and I have a feeling some of the others will do the same,” Kemper said.

Further information is available at www.somervilleschools.org.