Congratulations to the Winners of the Spring 2014 National Elementary School Contest!

The First-Place Winner and recipient of a visit from best-selling author Brandon Mull plus 2,000 Scholastic Dollars™ is:

Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic School
Book Fair Chairperson: Sandy Garcia
Southwest Ranches, FL
Theme: Mardi Gras

Book Fair Image
St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic School made big goals for their spring Book Fair – and set about to achieve them in an equally big way! They assembled an impressive team of volunteers, consisting of 27 parents and a student crew of 18. Once the team was in place, they worked on getting the rest of the school excited about the Fair.

The area outside the media center was transformed, reminiscent of a Mardi Gras celebration on Bourbon Street. Bulletin boards with student-made artwork of Mardi Gras masks and scenes appeared around the school. Teachers dressed up their classroom doors, and beads and paper streamers hung from the ceilings. Inside the Fair, themed centerpieces decorated tables and lampposts dazzled, capturing the spirit of New Orleans.

Activities and events included sneak peeks for students and teachers, multiple classroom competitions, and an All for Books™ lollipop pull. The Family Event featured a raffle, free beaded necklaces and bookmarks for customers, and King's Cake for dessert. The Grand Event was used to promote the Online Fair, and the classroom that placed the most orders won a prize.

Congratulations to Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic School students, staff, and parents for making their Book Fair such a great event!

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

Burnt Hickory Elementary School
Chairperson: Annandee Sebaly
Dallas, GA
Theme: Fiesta

Volunteers began decorating the school two months before the Fair, collecting supplies and working together with high schoolers. During Book Fair week, they implemented an advertising campaign that included flyers, Facebook posts, bandit signs, and sandwich boards at the carpool line. Students dressed up Fiesta-style and created paper-bag piñatas to line the hallway leading to the Fair. A local restaurant brought flavors of Mexico to their Grand Event, and students and their special guests sampled tacos while being serenaded by a mariachi band. During the teacher sneak peek, faculty members filled out wish lists as they enjoyed snacks and were introduced to a 4-legged dance contest for administrators. When the Book Fair goal was reached, the administrators performed the wacky dance – with their pants sewn together – at an assembly held on the last day of school.

Hill Elementary School
Chairperson: Kristina Spess
Austin, TX
Theme: Fiesta

At Hill Elementary School, the Book Fair has become one of the most anticipated events of the year. Advertising for their spring event started several weeks in advance and included promotions through the school website, flyers, e-newsletters, a poetry contest, a large banner, eye-catching LED signs, and posters. The principal and librarian promoted the Fiesta theme by wearing sombreros and traditional Mexican attire. When students visited the library, they were given a festive invitation to the family night event, which doubled as a raffle ticket when they attended. The family night featured a high school dance group, with students joining the fun and receiving lessons from the performers. And while several contests added excitement throughout the week, the All for Books campaign stood out as kids were encouraged to "Create Change by Giving Change." More than $800 was raised, and the class with the most donations was awarded the honor of selecting the books that would be donated to the school in need. Early planning, kid-friendly activities, and a lot of heart turned this event into a Fiesta fabulosa!

Puster Elementary School
Chairperson: Emma McDonald
Fairview, TX
Theme: Fiesta

This school's librarian and parent volunteers teamed up with Junior Crew members, high school students, and community volunteers to put on their spring Book Fair Fiesta. Together, they decorated the library to create a colorful and festive environment for shoppers. An author visit kicked off the Book Fair, helping build even more excitement around books. Teachers snacked and wrote out wish lists during a fiesta-themed preview. Word spread through morning announcements, letters from the principal, and signage, while invitations beckoned loved ones to the Family and Grand Events. Moms visited the Fair for a special Muy Bueno Breakfast. Dads also got an early start for Desayuno (breakfast) with Dad, and families participated in an Open House family night. The Fair was a huge success, and more than $1,400 raised through All for Books went toward books for the school's Teach With Jamaica program.

St. Michael Catholic School
Chairperson: Debra Meidl
Prior Lake, MN
Theme: Fiesta

Weeks before the Book Fair, parent volunteers and Junior Crew members hung posters and put up bulletin boards for their Fiesta theme. Students and families were invited to participate in the 20 for 20 Family Reading Challenge, and their completed reading logs were placed in a drawing for prizes. To further encourage reading, students were awarded a raffle ticket if they were caught reading throughout Book Fair week. The school hosted a Grand/Special Person Day during early hours, and in the evening, the student council sponsored a fish fry dinner that drew a huge crowd. The night included games, crafts, face painting, and they even cracked open a piñata to make it quite the Fiesta.

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

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