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Eastern Christian Elementary School’s PTO has supported the students of the elementary school in a variety of ways over their history. The PTO recognizes that reading is a critical part of learning and growth in the elementary school years. This year, they decided to transform the elementary school media center for a week-long Scholastic Book Fair for students, teachers, and parents to purchase books to support the school. Many volunteers were needed and nearly 20 elementary parents heeded the call to set up the book fair, help students find books, check out books, and clean up. The book fair included multiple copies of each book, along with journals, crafts, water bottles, and games. There were books for all reading levels and interests, and as students entered the book fair, they were excited to find something that met their interest.
The book fair was introduced during a special event family movie night. The movie night was extremely well attended and was a fantastic opening to the book fair. Students were able to select books from exceptionally organized sections. Students and parents felt as if they were entering a book store in the school’s media center. Students kept going back to the book fair throughout the evening, and parents enjoyed the opportunity to buy gifts.
Later on, during students’ library classes, all students created a “wish list” so parents who hadn’t been to the book fair have a good idea of what the students wanted to buy at the book fair and how much money to send to school for their official book-buying time slot. A day or two later, the students went with their class to their assigned purchasing time. Students were delighted to find that Clifford the Big Red Dog was also there to help them find books and to entertain them while they waited. Clifford help boost student engagement and leave a lasting memory for the students as they went home and told their families about the book fair.
The PTO members were full of energy and excitement which was easily transferred to the students looking for books. Even the most reluctant readers were able to feel the excitement and become engaged within such a print-rich environment. The Clifford character appearance was a fun addition to make the experience over the top.
The PTO has chosen to use their earned funds from the book fair to purchase books for the library and classrooms. After all of the sales were added up, our school earned $4,642 that will be directly applied to the book purchases. Thank you PTO for your hard work and diligence in making sure students are well-served at Eastern Christian Elementary School.