Lorelei Pryor, a senior at Morse High School, sold shirts with prints with her drawings of animals as well as individual prints at the Makers Market Saturday. (Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record)

BATH — On Saturday morning dozens of Regional School Unit 1 students crowded into the Dike Newell School gymnasium to sell homemade crafts in the first Makers Market, put on but the district’s parent-teacher association.

PTA President Karen D’Silva said the Makers Market was the brainchild of Elyce Reavely, vice president of the PTA. Reavely, who sells home decor and children’s items at several local craft fairs each year, said she wanted to give students the opportunity to showcase their talents and creations.

“Everyone has a skill set or something they’re good at,” said D’Silva. “This could be the defining moment where a hobby turns into a real passion or even a future career.”

About 34 students sold everything from hair accessories to holiday ornaments at the market, and students from every RSU 1 school participated.

Lorelei Pryor, a senior at Morse High School, sold shirts printed with her drawings of animals and prints of her artwork. Pryor said she wants to be a veterinarian and is putting the money she earned toward college.

Pryor said she participated in the gateway art program in elementary school, which helped foster her passion for art.

“I don’t know what I was expecting, but these kids are really talented,” said Pryor. “Looking around the room, I can tell they worked hard.”

Pryor’s friend, Madelyn Jones-Cressey, who is also a senior at Morse High School, was making custom buttons at the next table.

“It’s inspirational to see all the younger kids so proud of what they’ve created,” said Jones-Cressey. “I didn’t start making buttons until high school, but these young kids are here being so extroverted and confident.”

One such kid was Justice Bean, a fifth-grader at Fisher Mitchell, whose table was lined with everything from bookmarks to painted rocks, which he said he sourced from his grandmother’s driveway.

Justice Bean, a fifth-grader at Fisher Mitchell, wove friendship bracelets, made bookmarks and painted rocks from his grandmother’s driveway to sell at the RSU 1 Makers Market on Saturday. Bean said he felt proud to display his work for everyone who walked through the gymnasium doors. (Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record)

“It feels really good for everyone to see what I made,” said Bean. “My friends are here selling slime, and we all made really cool things.”

Beyond encouraging students to be creative, D’Silva said the Makers Market gave students the opportunity to build their confidence and strengthen social skills.

“Kids are getting a quick lesson in supply and demand,” said D’Silva. “They’re learning how to greet someone, say thank you, count change, and write signs and price tags legibly. There’s also an incentive to commit to something and follow through.”

Nicole Levesque, who works at Fisher Mitchell School, helped her son, Rory, a kindergartener at Phippsburg Elementary School, make beeswax candles for the market.

“We just used a kit we had, but at the end of the day it’s not about the product,” said Levesque. “Making the candles with him was time well spent. We were away from screens and Rory loves these kinds of things. He loves talking to people.”

Levesque said she thinks the market inspired students to try something new and be proud of the product, no matter how it looked.

While the market was put on by the RSU 1 PTA, the event largely benefited the participants because students kept every penny they earned from selling their crafts, but that didn’t stop some students from giving back.

Gavin Eosco, a fourth-grader at Fisher Mitchell School, donated 10 percent of his profits from selling homemade terrariums to #TeamTrees, a fundraising initiative with the goal of planting 20 million trees. For every dollar donated online, the organization pledged to plant one tree.

By the end of the day, Eosco raised $47 for #TeamTrees, meaning 47 trees will be planted as a result of his donation.

Aside from a variety of homemade crafts, the event had a bake sale and a 50/50 raffle, the proceeds of which, fittingly, helped fund a new kiln for Fisher Mitchell School.

D’Silva said the PTA will likely hold another Makers Market next year based on the level of interest and feedback from both students and parents.

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