Congratulations to the Winners of our Fall 2009 National Elementary
School Contest!

Our first-place winner and recipient of a visit from best-selling author Roland Smith, plus a $2,000 shopping spree for books is:

First-place winner

Harmony Elementary School
Chairperson: Kim Moistner-Bartlett
Janesville, WI

A hot air balloon greeted students at the school on the morning of their Book Fair kickoff—with Clifford and the principal on board! The surprise visit was the reward for meeting a 100,000 minute Read Around the World challenge. To meet the challenge, each of the school’s 260 students received a reading passport to log their minutes. The result? 105,548 total reading minutes logged in the three weeks leading up to the Book Fair!

Also visiting the students during the Book Fair were a group of international students from a nearby university. They introduced Harmony students to customs and cultures of their homelands. Meanwhile, the Fair was transformed into 10 different countries. Each destination featured decorations and flags, bringing a little bit of the world to Harmony students.

Two different fundraisers helped raise needed funds. Classrooms were challenged to raise loose change for One for Books!, with a party given to the class which donated the most. A total of $1,495 was raised in less than two weeks. Book purchased from the Fair were donated to a local agency supporting children and a school in Calauag, Phillipines. Despite a poor local economy, $1,000 was raised through the school’s Partners in Reading program. These funds were used to enhance classroom libraries.

A Family Fun Night was the premier event of the Fair and featured many fun activities for everyone. An International Breakfast with Someone Grand drew a large audience of appreciative guests who would otherwise not have attended the Book Fair. The school’s Teacher Preview event had 100% participation and raised another $1,300 in books donated through the Classroom Wish List.

Congratulations to Harmony Elementary students, staff, and parents for making their Book Fair such a great event!

Second-place winners

Shelton School
Chairperson: Lynne Turner
Dallas, TX

Decorations were the key to getting kids talking about the Fair with their parents. Creative volunteers painted window signs, flags for the cashier table and hung flags, mini hot air balloons, and wall displays. A Teacher Sneak Peek was held and to encourage participation gift certificates from local merchants were given away and raffles were held. Two contests for teachers and four more for students generated excitement and extra participation. Two classes that purchased the most books won a pizza party, and guessing games generated hundreds of entries. School librarians dressed in international outfits and advertised the fair in the carpool lines. The week was filled with activities as dads were invited to breakfast and lunch, and the Fair was strategically scheduled during the school’s parent/teacher conferences. Shoppers were asked to purchase books for children of soldiers stationed at Ft. Hood Texas. A whopping $4,789 in books was donated. Key to the Fair’s success were the 92 parent volunteers and the students who volunteered for the Junior Crew. Advertising was another important tool. A goal chart outside the library kept parents and students informed of progress. Large outdoor banners advertised the Fair and were made inexpensively with a bed sheet and latex paint! They are weather proof and re-useable!

Park International Baccalaureate Magnet School
Chairperson: Kay Fleischer
Hot Springs, AR

During school registration, 80 “travel agents” (volunteers) were recruited to help out at the Fair. Pre-Fair publicity with newsletters kept volunteers, parents, and teachers informed of the upcoming Fair, and built anticipation for all the activities. First up was the Teacher Preview which featured an international assortment of food prepared by local restaurants and parents. Local merchants were recruited to donate items to teachers. Decorations included a large backdrop featuring an airplane. Continuing the theme, students received a boarding pass when they entered the Fair. A large tree decorated with globes was the centerpiece of the Fair. Activities filled the week, and featured Grandparents Day, international dance troupes, origami crafts and a read-a-thon benefiting a children’s hunger relief organization.

St Francis of Assisi School
Chairperson: Laurie Briggs
Wichita, KS

Advertising well in advance paid off with the best-attended and highest grossing Book Fair for the school. This included sending home two postcards and a personal letter. Teachers received a special Sneak Peek invitation. The excitement grew as a character dress-up day for the entire faculty and staff generated lots of excitement from the students. During the Fair, pre-school classes held a Read With a Special Grown-Up Day, and older students participated in an essay contest titled “Where Books Have Taken Me.” A well-attended Family Night Event was filled with activities including guessing games, poster give-aways, read-alouds, and book talks. Decorations featured a wall-sized canvas mural covered with the Destination Book Fair artwork. As a result of the successful Fair, the principal dressed in a student uniform and attended classes for a day.

Creekside Elementary School
Chairperson: Kim Richardson
Suffolk, VA

To put on their best Book Fair ever, volunteers divided into five teams: decoration, contest, challenge, advertising, and donation. Decoration volunteers created country “stations” and wore costumes, spoke phrases and presented facts about their country. Replicas of famous landmarks from around the world drew excited customers into the Fair. More decorating drew parents to the Classroom Wish List display. Passports were created for each student, who received a stamp for each “country” they visited. Three contests were held: costume, flag identification, and one in which students got to vote on which costume the librarian would wear. The challenge team included student volunteers who assisted with book talks, helping younger student find books, and creating student wish lists. Another challenge between grade levels benefitted the local Marines Toys for Tots organization.

Third-place winners

Cherokee Bend School
Chairperson: Beth Shea
Mountain Brook, AL

To create excitement, the school held a contest entitled The 39 Clues at Cherokee Bend. Clues were posted on a huge map of the world placed at the front of the school. Students had to guess the country teachers were caught reading in. After 39 clues were given, a drawing was held for an autographed copy of One False Note and a 39 Clues backpack. Students, teachers, and parents followed the contest and got caught up in the excitement. The Junior Crew helped out with advertising, performing skits, doing book talks, creating posters, and wearing sandwich boards. Teachers created Classroom Wish Lists and students donated to One for Books! program. Japanese dancers visited the school and flags of the world decorated the library.

St. Timothy's Lutheran School
Chairperson: Christine Hindenes
San Jose, CA

The school decorated their large hall with an elaborate Egyptian theme, but also featured colorful decorations celebrating Japan, China, and Africa. On family night, an international parade was held and students dressed in country costumes carried flags while leading the way to the Book Fair. The P.E. teacher rewarded any student who filled up a “Mile Card” with a gift certificate to the Fair. There were lots of tired, but happy students at the Book Fair! Teacher and student previews were held before the Fair and helped build anticipation. The first day of the Fair featured their first-ever Grandparents Day, who were welcomed with pastries and coffee. It was so successful that the school plans to add this event to future Fairs. Donations to One for Books! went to purchase books for a nearby family shelter.

North Clackamas Christian School
Chairperson: Pam Harris
Oregon City, OR

The school used many innovative opportunities to advertise the Book Fair to the Community. This included handing out information at a community parade, local car show, and a golf event. In-school marketing included a Book Fair preview at the school open house/carnival, a read-a-thon, and Back-to-School Kick-off. To support One for Books!, the school created a fun in-school mail program. For $1, a message could be sent to anyone at the school along with a candy treat. The big event of the Fair was Family Fun Night, which featured games, door prizes, face painting and other family-friendly activities.

St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception School
Chairperson: Kathy Gorman
Wooster, OH

Volunteers made a big difference and included room parents for each classroom. This lightened the work for everyone and more people were invested in the Fair’s success. Each class researched different countries and then turned this into hallway displays used for an Around the World Scavenger Hunt. A Lunch with a Loved One event was held with desserts supplied by families with international roots. Teachers sampled an authentic Indian breakfast for the Teacher Sneak Peek.

L.K. Moss Elementary School
Chairperson: Dina McCorkle
Buena Vista, GA

The school used creativity, volunteers, and donated equipment and materials to make a remarkable event for students. Students were treated to scale replicas of the Statue of Liberty, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Great Wall of China, pyramids, the Eifel Tower, and other world landmarks. Flags were displayed in the library and helped turn the Book Fair into an international airport. The Teacher Sneak Peek featured homemade crepes with all the toppings. Family Night included a classroom competition to see which could get the most parents to attend. The winning class received an ice cream party—that created a big incentive for kids to bring their parents to the Fair. A Grandparent’s Day Breakfast drew another large turnout. Using the Media Center’s Facebook page as a way to communicate about upcoming events spread the word throughout the whole school community.

Blue Oak Elementary School
Chairperson: Lois Deatherage
Cameron Park, CA

Student and parent volunteers painted world landmarks and international flags to decorate their Book Fair. The artwork was then used as part of a school-wide contest for students to identify the geographical location of each display. Plus, students eager to show off their artwork to parents created buzz about the event! To keep excitement growing, there were opportunities for the whole school community to participate. Booktalks were shared at the student preview, and Clifford visited younger classrooms for story time. Activities and snacks were provided at a special Saturday event.

Kings Ridge Christian School
Chairperson: Melissa Sutton and Julie Maschino
Alpharetta, GA

A Family Dinner kicked off the Book Fair with a passport given to each attendee. Using the decorations and “fun facts” used to theme the Fair, shoppers received stamps for each trivia question answered. Prizes were awarded to winners. The school used the theme to promote international awareness and discovered that there were students from 20 different countries attending their school. Students loved participating in the “Dress as Your Favorite Book Character Day.”

Cherry Hills Christian School
Chairperson: Kim Christenson
Highlands Ranch, CO

The principal challenged students to bring in donations for One for Books! and they responded by collecting $1,453. The prize? Student were able to “break dress code” for a day. A special “Dad and Me Breakfast” was held and students were excited to show their dads around the decorated Book Fair. Students lined the walls with hundreds of hand-colored hot air balloons—part of a contest to advertise the Fair. One evening was dedicated as Family Night. Students received a No Homework Pass from teachers and that helped boost attendance. Also featured was a visit from two University lacrosse coaches, who created excitement among the school’s many players.

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