By Pam Dudding
To watch a child get excited in getting a book brings a deep sense of satisfaction to parents today. Many children are so “in tune” to iPads, phones and TV’s that a book no longer holds any interest, even in a classroom. However, McCleary Elementary hosts an annual Scholastic Book Fair where thousands of books are available for all ages.
This year, librarian Karen Jones shared that the fair was a great success again. “Parents were so excited to be back in the building as many had not visited McCleary since they brought their children for KG testing,” Jones shared. “Also, many of my volunteers commented on how nice it was to be in the building again.”
Jones’ goal of sales was 600, hoping for each child to get three books. “The favorites among our little ones were Itty Bitty Kitty Corn, Couch Potato, and a sweet multicultural book called Eyes That Kiss in the Corners,” she said. “The older students liked the scarier books – The Girl in the Lake and Escape.
“Journals were a big hit this year,” Jones added. “Almost every child wanted one, especially the ones with the locks. I had several children trying to buy three or four journals with their parents’ money. I told them they must have a LOT of secrets to need that many journals!”
The sales tallied at approximately $8,000. The school’s profit is 25-50% of that, depending on how much they take in cash versus “Scholastic dollars” which can only be used at the Scholastic warehouse.
Jones shared that what touched her the most was how generous the kids were with each other. “So many of them were sharing their money so friend could buy something they wanted or purchasing something for their friend instead of something for themselves – it was very sweet.”
Jones also had contests for the students. “Several children won book fair items and book fair money by having their names drawn from our ‘Reading Ticket Bucket’,” she said. “For a few weeks prior to the fair, students who were caught reading for pleasure received a ‘reading ticket’. All these tickets went into a bucket and names were drawn daily to win prizes from the fair.”
Once again, the school had an anonymous donor to step up and provide money so that each child could purchase a book from the fair. “It was so nice that none of the children had to walk away from the fair empty handed,” Jones said excitedly. “Our community members really take care of each other.”