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

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

Book Fair Image
Skyline Elementary School
Chairperson: Tammy Matlock
Stillwater, OK
Family Literacy Night was the featured event of the Book Fair for Skyline Elementary School. Businesses and clubs donated prizes, food, supplies, and ingredients to make a luau-themed pineapple upside down cake, which complimented a free Hawaiian-themed dinner. A nearby college fraternity volunteered to work the event, and teachers hosted literacy-centered booths providing families with a night of reading revelry.

Promotion of the Book Fair began with a surprise rendition of “Mele Kalikimaka” by third graders at the school’s holiday program. Flyers highlighting Fair activities were sent home to families each of the four weeks leading up the Fair. Information was posted to the school’s Book Fair homepage, library homepage, and the library’s social media page. Students participated in Smartboard Book Fair Bingo, Book Fair lessons, and heard daily announcements.

The whole student body was involved in creating decorations for the Fair. Students and volunteers made hundreds of individual tropical flowers that filled the Fair and the school. Outside the Book Fair entrance, amazing 7-foot tall handmade orchids welcomed shoppers. Other decorations turned the school into a tropical paradise. They included a full-length wall mural, pineapples, coconuts, tiki totems, and Hawaiian shirts. The official Junior Crew helped create more complex decorations, set up the fair, wore sandwich boards, and wrote, performed, and recorded booktalk videos to promote the Book Fair and reading.

The week before the Book Fair the principal issued a reading challenge during a kick-off rally. Students who met their individual reading goal had their picture taken on a Big Kahuna throne. Students met the 100,000 reading minute challenge and were rewarded with a D.J., bounce inflatables, and treats. Congratulations to Skyline Elementary School students, staff, and parents for making their Book Fair such a great event!

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

Union Elementary School
Chairperson: Heather Wyatt
Temple, GA
Union Elementary knows how to host a Book Fair! Their principal led the way, agreeing to dress as a “Hawaiian Hot Dog” and be covered with ketchup, mustard, and pineapple if students met their goal. All classes attended a lesson to learn about Book Fair events and view the Author Video. To kick off the Fair, they held a rally and parade, featuring kids dressed as book characters and the local high school marching band. The rally included a teacher dressup competition, hula dance from the assistant principal, and a hula hoop competition for volunteer dads. Other big events included a family night with a free hot dog dinner donated by a local business, a Grandparents Night with chorus performance, and One for Books® classroom competition.

More than 50 Junior Crew members helped out at the Fair. Parent volunteers created luau-themed decorations and a surf shack entrance to the Book Fair. Promotions utilized Facebook, newsletters, school website, blogs, and more. The assistant principal wore a pineapple sandwich board at the car pool line. A thank you breakfast was held at the end for all the volunteers.

North Road Intermediate School
Chairperson: Valerie Brown
Warren, OH
In addition to tried and true practices, each year the library tries to add new activities and events to their Book Fair. New promotions included advertising on the town’s community marquee and coverage from a local news station. The local fire department sent a fire truck as the What Would You Do For Reading® reward. A local sandwich shop donated 10% of their daily sales to One for Books – which resulted in the shop’s busiest day EVER! Students created booktalks and were judged on their ability to convince other students to read the book. Two winners were chosen for each grade level. The principal challenged students to a limbo contest. In order to compete, a student had to purchase five books. 135 of the school’s 300 students met the requirement and participated in the contest.

Past practices the school stuck with included promoting to students and families early and often; using the theme and decorating to generate interest; using a few parents, high school students, and retired teachers as volunteers; and hosting a family night and a hugely successful Grand Event.

St. John the Evangelist School
Chairperson: Linda Lenard
Duluth, MN
The Book Fair Luau theme warmed up the cool April weather in Duluth, MN. Promoting the Fair was a big priority for the school. Posters went up around school and in local businesses, handmade yard signs sprung up, and the neighborhood was delighted to see students in pineapple sandwich boards. Newsletters and newspapers listed activities, and two local news stations broadcast their Book Fair Rally. Students participated in the Junior Crew, numerous contests, and dinned on a themed lunch menu.

Local grocery stores donated 500 paper shopping bags which were turned into layered grass skirts for tables. More decorating accents of flowers, a tiki hut cashier station, and hand-painted tropical scene were added. Each guest was greeted with “Aloha” and a lei, then shopped while Hawaiian music played in the background.

Switlik Elementary School
Chairperson: Susan Guzman
Jackson, NJ
Excitement kicked off the week before the Fair with a school-wide Book Fair pep rally. Students were divided into four teams and each entered the rally doing the limbo. The principal served as the rally MC, students were entertained by a crew of faculty and staff cheerleaders, and the vice-principal performed a “Reading Rocks” rap. Students were encouraged to participate in a reading challenge. Other pre-Fair activities included a One for Books collection, a school-wide used book drive to bring gently used books into classrooms, viewing of the Author Video, and plenty of home grown advertising.

During the Fair, students and families shopped in a Luau beach environment complete with palm trees, surfboard, a giant wave photo op, leis, grass shirts, parrots, and tikis. To keep the excitement high, each day of the Fair featured a different theme. Thursday evening was Family Night, where everyone snacked on tropical munchies and were entertained by a play performed by faculty and staff. The final event was a “Minute to Win It” game show for all students who met their reading goal.

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

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