Congratulations to the Winners of Our Fall 2012 Elementary National Contest!

Our first-place winner and recipient of a visit from best-selling author Dav Pilkey plus 2,000 Scholastic Dollars™ is:

Jo Ann Ford Elementary School
Chairperson: Lynda Bishop
Georgetown, TX

Book Fair Image
Jo Ann Ford Elementary kicked off their best Book Fair ever with a Kick-Off Party featuring a ribbon-cutting ceremony with school district officials, students and families. The middle school band provided music while participants entered the Fair through an inflatable tunnel (just like ones found at football games) to the encouragement of school cheerleaders. To build excitement for reading and books, students were involved in multiple activities leading up to and during the Fair including a 100,000 minute reading challenge, classroom curriculum projects, and All for Books challenge.

Teachers and administrators got in the act too with a Teacher Sneak Peek, classroom door decorating, and a What Would You Do for Reading® challenge between the principal and vice-principal. Students could vote for their choice to cheer on their rival football team – one vote for each book purchased. Volunteers transformed the library into a football stadium complete with cheerleaders, ticket booth, and field.

Events especially for parents helped draw families to the Fair: “Starbooks” and Muffins drew parents to a private shopping event, and an All-Star Tailgate Party drew families to the Fair with games, grilled hot dogs and a dodgeball tournament with over 125 participants. Grands were invited to a special Saturday event for crafts, reading together, and book shopping. Residents of a nearby retirement community came by to participate with students whose grands could not attend. The Fair concluded with a Wrap It Up and Read Rally featuring performances, and the PE Coach being doused with water by kids for reaching their reading goals.

Congratulations to Jo Ann Ford Elementary School students, staff, and parents for making their Book Fair such a great event!

Second-place winners of 1,000 Scholastic Dollars are:

McGarity Elementary School
Chairperson: Angie Dennis
Hiram, GA

“Our Book Fair is Sweet” was the theme of the school’s fall Book Fair. Candy themed decorations covered every inch of the library and made all the shoppers smile. Volunteers and Junior Crew made 3-D cupcakes, candy, ice cream cones, and lollipops. A six-foot tall gingerbread house was included along with a chocolate “swamp.” Cupcake “banks” for each teacher were created for All for Books containers. A coin war was started and the "winner" was turned into a human banana split. Teachers who did not want the honor encouraged their students to contribute to another colleague’s bank.

To help advertise the Fair, info was added to the school’s website, social media site, on the morning news, and in letters to parents. Students dressed as a gingerbread girl and ice cream snack and advertised with sandwich boards at car pool lines and during lunch. Family Night was a real treat as ice cream sundaes were on the menu along with book shopping. Goodies with Grands was a huge success with loved ones buying books for their sweethearts. The Fair wrapped up with a Book Fair Rally for all students. Contest winners were announced and prizes awarded.

St. Timothy’s Lutheran School
Chairperson: Chris Hindenes
San Jose, CA

Inspired by the summer Olympic Games, the school incorporated the theme into their Book Fair. Classes made art projects specifically for the Book Fair, which helped build excitement. Several guests came to the school to talk to students about their sports accomplishments and share their love of reading. The PE teacher promoted the Fair two months prior to support All for Books. Students ran laps in PE classes and were awarded mile marker cards. The cards were used to exchange for books at the Fair – all supported by the PE teacher and her love of reading! At the family event, students dressed as athletes and sang a song to introduce their special guest reader.

Decorations included a large stage and hanging flags from around the world. A “torch” was lit the entire week of the Fair. Oversized medals and trophies and red, white, and blue banners were hung from the walls. A grand event brought more families to the Book Fair and added even more excitement to the week-long event.

Union Elementary School
Chairperson: Heather Wyatt
Temple, GA

The school’s Book Fair surpassed the goal set by their principal, so the assistant principal was duct-tapped to a wall wearing their college football rival’s hat. That was just part of the fun the school created around books and reading that made their Fair so successful. Students all attended a Book Fair lesson in the media center prior to the Fair, and a Book Fair parade was held with each class marching into the gymnasium to the cheers from parents. The Rally that followed included volunteer fathers doing a dance, a balloon popping competition, and teacher dress-up contest. A huge family event was held and parents were encouraged to wear jerseys of their favorite sports teams. Other events for families include a Grandparent’s Night, Muffins for Moms, and Donuts for Dads.

More than $1,600 was raised with an All for Books change war. The winning classroom won a tailgate party sponsored by the volunteer dads. The Fair was thoroughly advertised on the school’s website, through social media, blogging, flyers, and letters to parents.

Woodward North Academy
Chairperson: Michele Rosenthal
Johns Creek, GA

The Book Fair is THE event in the fall season for Woodward North Academy. More than 80 parent volunteers and school staff make up the team that works together to make sure students find the joy in reading and excitement in books. Six weeks prior to the Fair, advance publicity began. The Fair started on a Friday with a special out-of-uniform day – a BIG DEAL for students -- where students and staff were encouraged to wear their favorite sports jerseys. A kick-off rally on Friday morning was a new event and their school’s principal booktalked several books for students. Later that day was the family event featuring dinner, DJ, games, and book shopping. Another new feature of family night was student council members working as the Junior Crew. Equipped with clipboards, Fair maps, and book reading levels, they helped parents find right fit books for their kids.

The following week, class visits to the Book Fair began. Parents were encouraged to attend the class visits, and a parent volunteer was assigned to any child whose parents could not attend. Each class was greeted by a Book Fair host who highlighted top picks, and promoted All for Books and Classroom Wish Lists. Almost $800 was donated in spare change and more than $5,000 contributed to help build classroom libraries.

Click here to see who won the President’s Award for Exceptional Performance.

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