Holding a Scholastic book fair is a great way to raise money and receive new books for your school. With many schools struggling financially these days, this type of fundraiser is one that will benefit everyone including the students and teachers.
About Scholastic Book Fairs
The Scholastic Corporation is all about helping children to not only learn to read, but love what they are reading. It is the leading school-based distributor of children's books, magazines and educational materials in the United States. Scholastic starting serving schools in 1920s, but it really wasn't until the 1960s when it became a household name as it introduced two book clubs for children. At that time, the company started adding new books and periodicals for different age levels to help develop reading skills.
Twenty years later, Scholastic officials took the big leap into sponsoring book fairs when it purchased California School Book Fairs. Typically run by parents and school officials, these events offered not only the company a huge distribution outlet, but also they were also deemed successful. These fairs offered children the opportunity to purchase and receive books on the spot instead of waiting for their traditional book club order to be filled, which normally takes a few weeks. After acquiring Great American Book Fairs in 1983, Scholastic grew into the largest children's book fair operation by the 1990s.
Today, Scholastic Book Fairs can be found at most preschool and elementary schools during any school-sponsored event that draws a large crowd:
- Open houses
- Parent-teacher conferences
- School carnivals
- Auctions or other fundraisers
- National Library Week
- National Reading Week
- Back-to-school nights
School staff members and parents run the event, and children, along with their parents, can come in and purchase any of the books displayed. They are usually sorted by age level and subject matter from simple board books all the way up to biographies.
Benefits of Book Fairs
Being able to choose new books for home use is not the only benefit of attending or sponsoring a book fair. Your purchase helps support your school's reading efforts by:
- Linking children to the books they love, many times at a discounted rate
- Offering a large assortment of age-appropriate books
- Helping build libraries in the school and classroom
- Raising funds to purchase school resources, schools can earn up to 60 percent in Scholastic Dollars to purchase additional education materials
How to Sponsor a Scholastic Book Fair
If your school is interested in holding a book fair, your best bet would be to check out the Scholastic website for specific information such as choosing the type and date of fair you want. From there, you will receive such information as:
- Teacher's guide includes a classroom wish list to fill out and display at the event. Parents and students can purchase a book for the classroom or library from this list. Hands-on student activities and lesson plans such as a kids' author contest and build-a-book kits are included, as well as a list of books from which to choose to sell at your fundraiser.
- Family's guide explains why you should attend a book fair and the advantages it has for everyone.
- Librarian's guide offers insight on to instill in students the love of reading. Curriculums and book lists are available.
- Principal's guide helps you understand how the fundraiser will benefit the school, not only monetarily, but also by showing students how to connect with books.
A Final Note
Book fairs are as simple as bringing a bookstore into your school. They will benefit everyone involved from the teacher who gets new books for her classroom to the principal who receives educational resources for the school.