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Friends of the Market Newsletter

April 2015

On April 13th, with a crisp and businesslike manner, President Sara Patton conducted the most eventful FoM Board meeting of this century.
After pro-forma preliminaries, and a report from board member Jill Ryan on King County 4Culture’s two-year grant to us from their new Sustained Support fund (a contract will soon be signed for our first installment), Market Foundation’s Executive Director, Lillian Hochstein, spoke about progress being made on the MarketFront front. Lobbying the State legislature and fundraising continue while the MarketFront groundbreaking is set for May 20th, 11AM, off of Western Avenue, close to Desimone Bridge. All are invited to participate. Click here for more details.
FoM’s Reorganization Study Group Committee then presented three reports. Their recommendations on bookkeeping & financial reporting, charitable status & foundation relations, and proposed by-laws, after discussion, passed without dissent or major modification.
The meeting adjourned after setting the date for our third board meeting of the year. It will be Monday, August 31, 4:30 PM, in the Goodwin Library. 


Post Alley Passages


Scott Davies's job title of Public Information Specialist comes nowhere near describing all he has created in 21 years in the Communication & Marketing Department of the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA). It is his job to teach area school children about the original farmers market, its unique history, and wide array of businesses.

Scott has developed and now heads an extensive volunteer staff which might be called the Preparatory College of Mercantile Education. A native Puget Sounder and UW graduate, Scott worked a decade in marketing and communication in the private sector before returning to UW for a teachers certificate.

In 1994, on his second day of work at the Market, he taught a school group scheduled by his predecessor, Karen Maddox. Since that day he has built a varied curriculum abetted by a cadre of 12 volunteer guides, many of whom are former teachers, and a network of active teachers who return with new classes every year. The Market provides over twenty cooperative merchants who share their knowledge with the classes. In 2014, Scott’s program hosted 104 classes of 2nd to 4th graders. Estimates for 2015 are for 2,500 students.

Instructional Materials Available   

Scott's expansive materials to invite and instruct school participation can be found on the Education button on the Market website at  The material is in printable pdf format for use at home or school. Included are topics and subjects for Field Trips, Lesson Plans, Market History, Activities, and Food Drives.

The classes in the Market are not just an hour of gawking and horse play, but structured tours with preparation and follow up. Scott visits each school, for up to an hour, three weeks before the Market class day with a resource kit filled with books and interactive materials for the students, plus a theme and lesson plan with instructions for the teacher.

Passages Goes to Market School 

Passages tagged along on a recent Market class. The group assembles in the Economy Market classroom. Scott is present with four volunteer guides, one of whom is Megan Lee, Market News editor. (Many of the guides have been with the program for over a decade.) Seattle's View Ridge School teacher Mickey Rousso arrives with twenty-three 3rd graders and eight parents, one of whom is a photographer.

After introductions, Scott starts the class with a question and answer session – he asks and the students raise and wriggle their hands signaling they have the answer. He is learning names in the process. 
Sample: How much do you think Rachel the Pig weighs?  (Answer: The bronze replica that acts as a piggy bank in the Market weighs 250 pounds, the original animal Rachel weighed 750 pounds.)  Why so many pig copies in the Market?  (Answer: In 2001, The Market Foundation had a fundraiser named Pigs On Parade, where 100 fiberglass copies were decorated by local artists and sold at auction.) How old is Rachel? (Answer:  Rachel came to the Market in 1986.)

Market Tour Preparation         

Before going out on the tour, Scott gives an assignment, which will be completed in their classroom when they return to school.
1.  Alphabet. Find a food that begins with each letter of the alphabet. 
2.  Jobs. How many different jobs are there in the Market?
3.  Countries of the world.  Find how many businesses and products from other countries can you name?
          Rules: “No squeeza da fruit” - Stay together - No shopping. If you become lost,
          return to Rachel and wait for help.
After this exercise, Scott seems to know the names of about half of the students. The class is then divided into four groups. Each has one or two parents along with a volunteer guide. 

Teachable Moments

Scott’s tour checks out the posters in the hallway. One poster shows pictures of 100 pigs and their names. Scott uses the opportunity to explain that a pun is a “play on words” and shows examples in the names of the decorated pigs ("Ham on Rye To Go," decorated with a bread slice on top and wheels on the feet). Down the hall, Dr. LaVigne's dental clinic prompts a few words on jobs in the Market. The old "Old Time Dance Tonight” sign allows Scott to reference older uses in this l08-year-old Market.
Then around the upper floor and into the back door of DeLaurenti's, the class meets the chef and samples freshly made mozzarella. Downstairs the class gets a sample of mortadella, from Brad, a long time counterman. The Daily Dozen Donut Company is passed quickly after viewing the automatic donut contraption. Scott works to engage each student, including one very shy girl.

Worldwide Food and Products

Across the arcade is Umai, which serves Chinese and Japanese food and  is a good test for the alphabet challenge with sushi and teriyaki.  Next is Studio Solstone, where owner Michael Yeager interacts with the students. He gives Mr. Rousso this year's Market calendar for the classroom. Michael and his wife, Sara Clementson, began on the crafts line and moved their business to this historic alcove. Scott then queries the students about Mom & Pop stores.

Across the hall, Crepe de France adds more countries to the lists and more foods for the alphabet test. On up the ramp to the Tibetan shop Tenzing Momo; it has products from Nepal and many other countries. Scott demonstrates a “singing bowl” with a brass mortar and wood pestle, which creates bell sounds and vibrations on the bowl’s rim, a hands-on experience for the students.

Housing to Artwork & Tarot Cards to Refrigeration

The class drops down to Post Alley to deposit their gum on the gum wall. Scott admonished them to be fast and all embellished the wall with their gum within a minute and before moving on. Next they go into the LaSalle Hotel for an inspection of a studio apartment now being used as a community room. Scott tells the group there are over 400 dwelling units in the Market managed by the PDA.

On the Hillclimb plaza, the class counts the five light fixtures by sculptor Dan Webb. The class goes down the "cow ramp" to the third level of Down/Under to gaze at the ChefStep’s kitchen and video display. At Pharaoh’s Treasures, Jillian, the manager, becomes a teacher, too. She lets the students touch real papyrus; the world’s first paper.  Passing Christopher’s Lamp, Scott explains palm reading and tarot cards. Next, it is up the stairs past City Fish and over to Beecher’s cheese-making display windows. This was followed by a visit to the refrigeration locker in the rear of the Sanitary Market building.

Lunch Served

Lunch bags and donuts are waiting for the return to the classroom at noon. Scott conducts a review of the tour and holds another Q and A with the students.  All students get a special orange pencil with the motto, I Love Fruits and Vegetables from (Market Logo),

Merchant Involvement

Scott commented later about the merchants' attitude about the non-customer children. He said it ranged from neutral to enthusiastic, but some were especially engaging with the students. He singled out Ellery at Don & Joe’s Meats, and Nancy at the Creamery.  He said, "Often merchants create a 'Market serendipity' which adds a lot to the classes."


Post Alley Passages written by Paul Dunn,

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