June 8, 2012
We used the Alternative Gift Market as a Service Learning project in a Freshman Year Experience course at a community college in Maryland. Students completed in-depth research on four main issues that the students selected based on their curriculum and learning objectives. Students proceeded to act as 'sales people' during the event, each group had their own issue they were an 'expert' on and students became very passionate about their subject. All student feedback was wonderful and the college community showed a great deal of support. We completed our Market during Professionals Appreciation Week, which was also right around Mother's Day and Teacher's Appreciation Day. These holidays improved our sales significantly and with student 'experts' on the subjects and countries it was a great learning experience for anyone who attended. The check-out process was a little cumbersome and we lost a few sales due to people unwilling to wait through such a long process, but we still ended up selling more than anticipated at the event.
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