September 27th, 2011 by

Adventures in the Book Fair

The whole of our PTSO board is new this year, which has led to some interesting situations.  We have enthusiasm, a love of our children, and an interest in their education.  I’m the Parliamentarian and became, by interest and default, Book Fair Chair.

The book fair chair sounds like a large over stuffed lounger with good light and a side table stacked with all the new stories to read.  In reality, it was my job to schedule 2-4 volunteers to work the book fair from roughly 8am-4pm for a week. About 70 hours worth.

Finding the volunteers was a whole other adventure. As I said, the board is new.  I had some names but very little contact information for parents available.  It came down to the wire, and stressed our poor librarian, but due to the generosity of parents and grandparents, we made it through the week fully staffed and profitable.

Scholastic Book Fair - Spring 2011

My favorite stories:  A girl who had to choose between buying Dolphin Tale, one of the most popular books of the sale, or something for her little sister. She agonized over the decision but was pleased when she chose her sister.

The kids who donated their pennies to the library.

In between kids coming in, we grown ups had time to laugh, tell stories, and get to know each other.

“You’re Mrs. Mark’s Mom, aren’t you?”

I had to laugh when a 2nd grader made his purchases one item at a time, one after another, when each time he realized that he still had change. 

My heart ached for a 1st grade girl. She came in with a handful of pennies and a nickle wanting a $4 toy. In her mind, the nickle was 5, the toy 4… Not a problem.  I left the register to another and went with the girl to the table to count out her 27 cents and explain it wasn’t enough. I helped her plan to continue saving for later.  Together, we made a little paper envelope for her money, and she smiled as she left.

It was a long week of hard work but well worth the effort. A book fair provides an opportunity for the children to gain confidence when making financial decisions, express themselves in a ‘store’ setting, and oh yes…earn money for the library to get more books.  A total win!

Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers. If you’re looking for a good way to help your school, meet other parents, and have fun in the process, consider volunteering at your local library...but you don’t have to take my word for it.

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