Marketplace for Kids has them looking to the future

WILLISTON, N.D. - Long-time leaders at Marketplace for Kids say it is evident that children have an increased understanding of themselves, are driven, and are more focused on the future than ever.

Williston State College was packed with children with their innovative ideas displayed on presentation boards. Many of the children wanted to give old things a new use.

Sixth-grader Aeriana Peterson, a co-creator of Light Bulb Art said, "So many people throw out light bulbs every day, so we were thinking instead of just throwing things out, why not make things out of them?

Hunter Hart, creator of Hunter’s Rugs, explained what he used to make the rugs he has on display: "That was made of old t-shirts [and this rug] was made out of my grandma's dresses. I'd encourage anyone to do this, like it's really fun, and I might like have it as a business idea."

Many kids, like Hunter, say they’re inspired to actually make their hobbies into businesses because many people told them they would be willing to buy their products.

“I think that it's kind of cool that they like what we made. They don't see it as we just put something together. We took our time with it and tried to make it look nice,” stateed Miriam Jarcik, co-creator of Light Bulb Art.

This is the 19th year of Marketplace for Kids, and long-time organizers of the event say the minds of children are evolving.

"Kids are becoming more business savvy, and they also have a better ideas of what they like, and what they want, and what they think they want to do. Earlier and earlier they're thinking about college or learning a skill. So their ideas are definitely kind of moving up the ladder,” said Debbie Richter, a co-chair of Marketplace for Kids.

Teachers and business leaders say they want children to understand the possibilities and resources that are already available for them if they choose to plant their roots in the Peace Garden State.

In between presentations there were 35 classes to choose from, including self-defense, cooking, agriculture, dance, bridge building, park ranger, and virtual reality.

Fourteen hundred students from 21 different schools across western North Dakota and eastern Montana attended the event.