Mark your calendars for the week of November 27th through December 1st when Village Elementary will hold its Scholastic Book Fair in the school’s library. As they carefully wrote dates and times of the upcoming western-themed book fair on brightly colored posters, the PTO’s Book Fair co-chairs, Tara Metzger and Toni Brickhaus, shared important details about this week-long event that will directly benefit the school’s library.
Scholastic Book Fair Schedule at Village Elementary’s Library
*Adults may shop at the Book Fair during the school day and at Family Night.To shop during the school day, adults must first report to the front office for a Visitor’s Pass.
Monday, November 27th:
9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Tuesday, November 28th:
7:45 am – 3:30 pm
Wednesday, November 29th:
7:45 am – 2:00 pm
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Family Night)
Thursday, November 30th: (Late Start Thursday)
9:45 am – 3:30 pm
Friday, December 1st: (Character Counts Friday)
7:45 am – 3:30 pm
Preview of Book Fair and Wish Lists
To view Scholastic’s Interactive Fall 2017 Book Fair Flyer click here.
During students’ recent classroom visits to the school library, Village Elementary’s librarian, Ms. Erinn Martocchio, has already been giving students a preview of what to look forward to at the upcoming book fair, showing students a brief video supplied by Scholastic.
When the book fair officially opens for business, each class will have the opportunity to come to the library so students may peruse the merchandise for sale. Students will create wish lists of titles that catch their attention. After students have visited the book fair with their respective classes, they will then be able to return to the book fair to make purchases before school and after school, during lunch recess, and at Wednesday evening’s Family Night.
Reading Levels, Interests, and Specialty Books
Scholastic Book Fairs offer books that appeal to elementary children of all ages, from picture books to chapter books. “We have hundreds of titles from which to choose,” says Tara, who explained that there will be about ten cases of books set up at the book fair, with each case containing approximately 25-30 titles. To ensure that books which meet a variety of reading levels and interests are available, Tara and Toni not only discussed titles with Ms. Martocchio, they also spoke with Coronado Middle School’s librarian, Ms. Connie LeFever, who was able to suggest titles which will appeal to elementary aged students who are advanced readers.
When students are reading above grade level, it is, of course, wonderful, but it’s still important that those same students are reading content that is age appropriate for them. Tara noted that the books which will be sold at the Scholastic Book Fair have been given thoughtful consideration.
In addition to picture books and chapter books, there will also be specialty books for sale, such as LEGO books and Star Wars books which sometimes include a figurine/toy. Holiday books also will be available for purchase.
What title do Tara and Toni anticipate will be the most popular? Author Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway (Book 12) was just released earlier this month, and the book fair co-chairs expect that to be a sellout since the series is a favorite among elementary students.
Family Night: Western Wear, Dinner, and Smart Choices
Grab your cowboy boots and ten-gallon hats as you and the family attend Family Night on Wednesday, November 29th from 5:00-8:00 pm! Tara and Toni encourage Village Elementary families as well as members of the community to don their Wild-West-Best as they shop for books for the whole family! While people often assume that the book fair only has titles specific to children’s interests, there are titles that appeal to buckaroos of all ages, including older siblings, parents, and grandparents! (There are even cookbooks and adult coloring books that will be available for purchase that evening.)
Rustle up your appetites when you attend Family Night! (Translation: No cooking for busy families! Score!) Between 5:30-7:30pm attendees may, for just $5, purchase a slice of pizza and cookie from High Tide Bottle Shop & Kitchen, and wet their whistles on included family-friendly beverages.
As a parent, Toni says that she really appreciates the opportunity that Family Night affords her as she has quality time to peruse books with her daughter. Together, they will review the titles her daughter writes down on her wish list as well as discuss other books that could possibly be of interest to her fifth grader. “I like seeing which books she’s interested in, and Family Night gives me the chance to determine if the books she wants are the appropriate reading level for her. I love how there are so many different genres from which to choose,” Toni says.
As students create their wish lists during class time, they sometimes have a tendency to write down titles of books whose covers draw them in rather than the content. Family Night is also a great time for parents, especially those whose children are reading chapter books, to encourage their children to pay just as much attention to the synopsis of books as they do to the image on the cover. With parents’ guidance, children may discover for themselves the age-old wisdom of, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Just because the cover of one particular book isn’t as flashy as other books for sale, doesn’t mean that what lies within its pages won’t be a story their hearts will treasure forever!
Why Shop at the Book Fair Instead of Online?
Some parents may be thinking, “Why should I bother to send money in with my child? If there’s a particular title he or she wants, I’ll just order it online from a store like Amazon.com, where it will probably be cheaper.” Tara nods her head, and agrees, “I can guarantee that some of the books are cheaper online,” but isn’t ready to give anyone the go-ahead to shop online instead because this is one of Village Elementary’s PTO’s most important fundraisers.
“All of the money that we raise goes right back into the school’s library,” Toni explains. The PTO gets approximately 25% of sales back in the form of Scholastic dollars, which may be used to purchase books for the school’s library, including the more-durable library bound editions. Proceeds from book sales are not only used to add new titles to the library’s shelves, they’re also used to maintain the books that are already well-loved. A portion of the proceeds from a previous book fair was used to purchase a “Cover One” machine that repairs broken bindings of books, giving current and future students the opportunity to continue reading the most beloved titles.
Can’t Make It to the Book Fair?
For parents, grandparents, and community members who wish to support the PTO’s Scholastic Book Fair but can’t make it in during the book fair’s open-for-business time slots, never fear! Purchases may be made online through Scholastic’s Book Fair website, and those purchases will count toward the amount that the PTO will earn in Scholastic dollars.
Get Caught Doing Good!
The co-chairs have discussed with Ms. Martocchio which titles will be among the most appealing for each grade level, and the PTO will be raffling off select titles! How do students earn raffle tickets? Simply by being their best selves! “As we catch kids at the book fair doing random acts of kindness or modeling exemplary behavior that really stands out, we will give them raffle tickets where they can write their name, grade level, and room number on, and then they can put their tickets in whichever of the book raffles that interest them most,” Toni explains. “We’re also going to have a mystery book raffle and mystery prize raffle,” she continues, “so each of those winners will be able to select a book or prize of his or her choosing.”
For those interested in helping with the upcoming book fair, volunteers are needed! Parents of Village Elementary students will, through the Coronado Unified School District’s PowerSchool Learning/Haiku website, have the opportunity to sign up for specific volunteer time slots. “We’re going to put out when each class will be going to the book fair so parents can try to volunteer at the same times that their kids will be in the library,” Tara says. “There’s no such thing as volunteering too much or too often,” Toni adds, “and parents are welcome to sign up for multiple time slots if their schedules allow. We are going to need all the help we can get!”
Of course, while it’s certainly always a bonus for parents to have the opportunity to interact with their own children while volunteering, Toni and Tara are hopeful that parents will also volunteer for those time slots when other grade levels will be visiting the library. Volunteers will be needed to help set up and break down the book fair, and will be needed throughout the day to help guide students as they create their wish lists as well as help students and parents/community members make purchases.
This is Tara’s third year and Toni’s second year serving as co-chairs for the book fair. What do they like best about volunteering their time for such a significant cause? Tara answers, “Personally, I like seeing what the kids are into. What my kids are into is a very narrow window, but being here allows me to see what other kids enjoy too, helping me try to expand my children’s interests. It’s fun to see what’s available, and I always use my time volunteering to sneak in some Christmas shopping for my children, their teachers, and even relatives.”
Toni, who also tackles some of her Christmas shopping while volunteering at the book fair, says that she enjoys watching the youngest students’ eyes light up as they look through all the picture books for sale. “It makes me nostalgic for the days when my daughter and I used to snuggle as we read picture books together,” she says, “especially when they look at books that were once our favorites.”
Teacher Wish Lists
The PTO generously gives each teacher $25 to spend at the book fair, but, or course, no amount of money will ever be enough to give teachers every title that they would love to add to their classroom libraries. As teachers peruse the titles offered at the book fair, they too, just like their students, can compile their own wish lists. At Family Night or when they are at the book fair shopping during the school day, parents/community members wishing to fulfill some of those wish list titles will be able to find each teacher’s specific wish list. Parents and students may either purchase specific titles on teachers’ wish lists or may purchase Scholastic gift certificates for individual teachers. How wonderful it is giving a gift to one person that will make so many people, including current students and future students, happy?