Congratulations to the Winners of the Fall 2013 National Middle School Student Crew Contest!

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

Lake Nona Middle School
Orlando, FL

Lake Nona Middle School
Book Fair Chairperson: Andrea Parisi
Student Crew Count: 24
Theme: Knights … Camera … Action: Reading Brings Books to Life!

Lake Nona’s Student Crew was involved in all aspects of the Book Fair and successfully engaged all segments of the school community including students, teachers, administration, and parents. From decorating to photography, the Lake Nona Crew did it all!

The Crew decided on the Hollywood theme because so many young adult books are being turned into movies. They transformed the media center into an award-winning space, complete with red theater curtains, huge Oscar images, popcorn canisters on tables, movie-themed table covers, a walk of fame, and more! To increase participation in the Fair, they advertised through the school’s morning show, website, Facebook pages, email, and phone messages. Teachers even promoted the Fair by giving booktalks, hanging up classroom advertisements, and reaching out to families through their websites, blogs, and progress report pages.

To generate excitement among students, the Crew hosted several contests and activities: depict the craziest thing a student could think of doing while reading; guessing the amount of movie tickets in a jar; five dress-up days; and create a movie trailer or poster for books that kids would like to see become movies.

One of the highlights of the Fair was the All for Books™ campaign. Each language arts class had the opportunity to design a collection container. The class with the most donations received either a Fun Friday or a Movie Day. This effort led to the school collecting $600, which was used to buy books for classroom libraries, needy students, and a local children’s hospital.

Besides promoting the Fair, the faculty also got involved in a What Would You Do for Reading?® campaign that got the whole school excited. Students voted on several stunt options with loose change. The option receiving the most votes called for the entire administration to camp out on the school’s roof. A tent was set up and they participated in fun activities. Students, families, and faculty members came by to cheer them on.

All of these activities, plus two Family Events, a Teacher Sneak Peek, and participation in the Online Fair, really got the entire school community involved in an award-winning Book Fair!

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

Sammy McClure Middle School
Dallas, GA

Book Fair Chairperson: Rhonda Boggs
Student Crew Count: 47
Book Fair Theme: Walking Dead Book Fair: Read to Survive

The Student Crew at Sammy McClure took advantage of the widespread zombie pop culture phenomenon and developed a really popular theme at their school! They decorated the Fair with zombie-themed decorations, including zombie cutouts of the principals and posters of all school employees who were “zombified.” To promote the Fair, the Crew created commercials and a mini-series, and also advertised with booktalks, Facebook, Twitter, and a calling post. To generate even more student excitement, several contests were held: guessing the number of eyeballs, answered horror trivia questions, identifying zombie teachers, and Survivors vs. Zombies All for Books change war. Students also participated in a Read to Survive Reading challenge and a camouflage dress-up day. Families were engaged during a morning Zombie Hunter Zelebration where they enjoyed blood and guts (fruit punch and jelly-filled donuts) and a meet-and-greet with Irone Singleton from The Walking Dead TV show. All of these activities made this one of Sammy McClure’s most fun Book Fairs!

Tahlequah Middle School
Tahlequah, OK

Book Fair Chairperson: Brenda Maddan
Student Crew Count: 20
Book Fair Theme: Reading Oasis: A Cool Place to Find a Hot Book

To kick off the Book Fair and generate a lot of enthusiasm, the Student Crew and pom squad hosted a Book Fair rally which included Egyptian dancing and a chariot race between the principal and vice principals. In addition to the rally, the Crew promoted the Book Fair with signs, banners, homemade commercials, local radio ads, Facebook, Twitter, and the school’s website. To increase traffic among families and the school community, the Crew hosted Donuts for Dads, Munchies with Moms, Goodies with Grands, and a Family Night Mummy Party. Not only did teachers participate in a Sneak Peek luncheon and fill out Classroom Wish Lists, but they also prepared theme-related lessons: science teachers created lessons about camels and their humps and math teachers taught about the Pythagorean Theorem. Inside the Fair, Egyptian decorations such as a pyramid of book covers and a camel-shaped goal chart added to the atmosphere and attracted even more students. In the end, Tahlequah reached their goal of selling more than 1,000 books and made the Book Fair a cool place to find books!

Excelsior Springs Middle School
Excelsior Springs, MO

Book Fair Chairperson: Kathy Travis
Student Crew Count: 40
Book Fair Theme: Reading Wonderland: A Gift of Reading

The entire school got involved in the Excelsior Springs Book Fair. Teachers offered classes to make decorations, which included a large standup Grinch, snowflakes, and large books. The school’s maintenance crew constructed a wooden tree to display books, and staff created ribbons. Special education classes worked on their counting curriculum by sorting the booklists. To increase awareness, the Fair was promoted with booktalks, the school’s website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Edmodo. Students also posted on social media networks about their excitement. Teachers participated by filling out Classroom Wish Lists, and then Crew members acting as elves delivered the books to their classrooms. Other ways of generating enthusiasm included reading encouragement contests and a poster contest. The school was also able to purchase 59 books with the money collected through All for Books and donate it to the town’s needy. All of the Crew’s efforts paid off and helped the Fair’s sales almost double from their last fall Fair.

HALS Academy
New Britain, CT

Book Fair Chairpeople: Leona Clerkin and Ann Dilling
Student Crew Count: 10
Book Fair Theme: Ancient Egypt

All of the students and faculty at HALS Academy got involved in their fall Fair. With the help of the school’s music teacher, a few students rewrote the lyrics to “Walk Like an Egyptian” and did a music video for “Reading Like an Egyptian.” The video was posted on the school’s website to advertise the Fair. The school also promoted the Fair and generated excitement with a Book Fair Rally, where several contests were held. One contest invited students to walk the length of the gym while balancing a book on their head. Decorations not only added to the Book Fair environment, but created excitement in the whole school. Mummies covered walls, students made sarcophagi out of cardboard, each student had a cartouche on their locker with their name on it, and Egyptian artifacts were everywhere! To increase family participation, students helped to set up an Egyptian Café at the Book Fair with coffee and snacks. During the event, families also donated money to All for Books, and the school was able to donate $145 in books to a local hospital. All of these activities not only increased Book Fair excitement, but also made this one of HALS Academy’s most successful Fairs!

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

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