|Picture taken from A+ Book fairs page|
Today I was thinking about the book fair that I am in charge of at my local elementary school next month. I'm planning and deciding how I want it to run, look, etc. I have done the book fair many years, but I am coming back to it after two years away. Somehow, I let someone talk me into being the President instead.
Why do I do a book fair? One year there was a little girl who came into the book fair and with one of the grown up technicians picked out a book. She tentatively brought it up to me and the adult handed me the money. I handed her the book and informed her that she needed to put it in her backpack and take it home. Her eyes opened wide and she asked me if she got to keep it forever? When I told her yes, she had a huge smile and was so happy that she got to keep her inexpensive Strawberry Shortcake book. I don't think I will ever forget her or the look on her face. She loved her book.
Reading is such a large part of my life and I would like to have a little bit of that rub off on the students. I often walk around the room with them and ask them what do they like as we try to select the perfect book. We have contest where books are the prize. It is a great way to promote literacy and the books are often less expensive or the same price as you would get them in the store.
The biggest draw for me is the books that the school gets to keep. In my school we have elected not to receive cash back, we take the option of taking books from the shelves of the book fair to go into the library and classrooms. If there is credit left over, I select books to hand to the principal to have fabricated "contests" to get books to the kids who need them the most. Yes, we make up contests and tell a kids that he/she has done something to win the book. When in actuality, we were just looking for a way for that particular child to be empowered by their good actions.
Do I make any money or get free books from doing the book fair? Nope! I get to buy my books just like everybody else. :0) I probably spend more than anybody else. Last year the treasurer and I were both trying to spend less than the other. We both went a little crazy, I think I lost. :(
Next month and then again in March, I will have a week that is dedicated to the book fair. It is so worth it to me to see the smile on a kids face.