An Americorps employee has youngsters showing their creativity at the St. Maries Farmer’s Market each week.

Polly Grasham, who was hired this year as an Americorps employee through the University of Idaho Extension Office, has offered free activities to children at the 4H makers table.

Each week Grasham comes up with a different activity varying from hands on crafts to painting projects.

This week the children at the maker’s table took to paining sea shells and learning more about how to create new colors by mixing primary colors. Grasham said at a previous Friday, the children in attendance learned about density using different liquids and colors.

“We get to do little experiments and it’s a chance for all the kids to get together,” Grasham said. “There are kids whose parents are at the market that get to meet up here each week, and there’s always new friends that stop in too.”

This will be the fifth week the program has been active at the market. Grasham said she wants to also reach out to other markets in the area to possibly do similar programs.

She plans to do the program at the St. Maries market for the rest of the season and will keep it free for the children.

“People will ask me how much it costs to join and it’s cool to tell them we just want you to come out and play,” she said.

Earlier this year the University of Idaho Extension Office utilized grant money received by the State of Idaho 4H office to hire Americorps employees to work at the office this summer to work with the community’s children.

“Our goal for the most part with programs like this is youth development,” Grasham said. “Anywhere where kids get a chance to socialize, and they get to come back every week and they remember each other’s names and get to engage in a project together is good.”

Grasham will have another special activity ready for youngsters this Friday.

“This Friday at the Maker’s Table, we’ll be making gyotaku which is Japanese for ‘fish print’. Gyotaku originated about 100 years ago as a way for sports fishermen to record the exact size and species of fish they had caught,” Grasham said. “We’re hoping to study some fish anatomy while we’re at it.”

The St. Maries Farmers Market is from 3 to 6 p.m., every Friday through September, at the Mullan Trail Park.

For more information call the University of Idaho Extension Office at 208-245-2422.

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