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Govans Market Back to School Takeover

2 women with Loyola Teacher Education Department t-shirts stand in front of a table of books

On August 16, the Teacher Education Department (TED) put together a Back-to-School Takeover at The Govans Farmers Market. Maddie Larrimore, program assistant for the TED, interviewed Amy Cosentino, Assistant Clinical Faculty and coordinator of the event, to learn more about it’s success!

Maddie: How did the idea for the Govans Market back to school takeover come about?

Amy: Dean Afra Hersi approached me and Stacy Williams (TED Department Chair) over the summer with an idea to get involved with Govans Market and the community through a back to school event. From there, I met with Kyra McDonnell, market manager and Loyola alum, to see how we could assist. Kyra shared that Called to Action Church provided a BBQ and bookbags last year and we discussed how Loyola could partner with the church and add to the event with additional school supplies, snacks, and fun activities for the families.

M: What was your role in this event?

A: My role was to coordinate efforts between the Teacher Education Department and Govans Market to bring Dean Hersi’s vision to life, for a fun event that got students and families excited for a new year of learning. After the initial meeting with the dean and Stacy, I brainstormed ideas and organized an action plan. Throughout the process I met regularly with Stacy and Maddie, program assistant, to refine and execute the plan. Both were invaluable resources, and the event would not have been a success without them! Stacy’s years with TED and vast knowledge of Loyola provided the guidance and support, while Maddie’s behind-the-scenes efforts ensured that we had everything needed to make sure things went off without a hitch!

M: Who were the other collaborators on this project?


  • Govans Market, Kyra McDonnell – Market Manager
  • Dean Afra Hersi
  • Teacher Education Department Chair, Stacy Williams
  • TED Program Assistant, Maddie Larrimore
  • Called to Action Church – Pastor Sade Bankins

M: What was the purpose or goal for the event?

A: Our overall goal was to increase the presence of Loyola’s School of Education in our surrounding community. We want to establish ourselves as a community partner and resource for students and families along the York Road corridor. Additionally, we looked to promote a lifetime love of learning and spread our excitement about education to students and families in the city of Baltimore!

school supplies on a table wiht a Loyola University beach ball in the backgroundM: Was the event successful?

A: In the words of Dean Hersi, “The Govans Market event was as smashing success!” We measured that success in the miles of smiles on the faces of the children and families who picked up free school supplies, spun our prize wheel, selected a brand new book, and crafted a custom bookmark to start their school year off right!

M: What was your favorite part of the event?

A: My favorite part of the event was seeing the wide-eyed looks, followed by ear-to-ear grins on the faces of both students and their families when they were invited to pick out a brand new book for free! This was followed of course by conversation about their interests so we could pick out that just right book!

M: Anything else you want to mention? 

A: One unexpected outcome of the event was the turnout by Loyola School of Education staff and their families. It was amazing to see Dean Hersi, her mom, and children as well as Associate Dean David Marcovitz and many other SoE faculty who brought their own children along to take part in the event.