Congratulations to the Winners of the Spring 2014 National Middle School Student Crew Contest!

The First-Place Winner of 2,000 Scholastic DollarsTM and a personal visit from author Maggie Stiefvater is:

Sammy McClure Middle School
Dallas, GA

Book Fair Image
Book Fair Chairperson: Rhonda Boggs
Student Crew Count: 46
Theme: Boardwalk Book Fair: Reading Is Your Ticket to Fun!

With roller coaster tracks, carousel horses, a beach, caricatures, gigantic corn dogs, ticket booths, and more, this was one of Sammy McClure's most exciting Book Fairs.

Publicity for the Fair included promotions through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the school's website, booktalks, a calling post, morning announcements, and Crew members wearing sandwich boards. The Crew hosted a Boardwalk Bash Teacher Preview where teachers enjoyed boardwalk food, played games, created wish lists, and danced to beach songs. The Crew also used a face-juggler app, which takes the photos of two people and swaps their faces. Students had a blast rearranging their teachers!

Students celebrated with street performers, dressed as tourists, wore air-brushed T-shirts, and brought in their favorite stuffed animals. Families got involved with a "Fun Time With Family" event and a "Popcorn With Parents" event. In addition, the Crew increased traffic by hosting their second annual SCAM (Student Crew Alumni Member) event and invited students from the nearby elementary school to shop.

Several boardwalk-themed activities generated interest in the Fair, including a "Guess the Age of the Teachers" game, a portrait poster contest, daily trivia, a teacher T-shirt design contest, a saltwater taffy guessing game, and a hotdog-eating contest. The school also held a Ticket Tsunami contest for prizes, where students received tickets and winners were drawn during morning announcements.

The Crew also hosted some fun challenges: avid readers participated in a reading challenge, the principal dressed as a clown when the sales goal was met, every student who spent $25 or more could dunk the principal, and the homeroom with the most purchases got a breakfast.

With creative contests, community support, $500 raised for All for BooksTM, colorful decorations, and more, the Student Crew at Sammy McClure proved once again that reading is the ticket to fun!

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

Tahlequah Middle School
Tahlequah, OK

Book Fair Chairperson: Brenda Maddan
Student Crew Count: 30
Book Fair Theme: Renaissance Book Fair … To Thine Own SHELF Be True

The Student Crew kicked off Book Fair week with a rally, where the pom squad danced to "Royals" by Lorde and the school's principals participated in a jousting tournament – brandishing foam pool noodles. Promotion of the Fair was widespread, through signs, banners, bookmarks, announcements, the local newspaper, Facebook, and Instagram. In addition, student-created coats of arms lining the hallways and mini castles on bookshelves created even more excitement. A skeleton in a stockade and larger-than-life paper mâché dragon were just some of the great decorations that made the medieval theme come to life. Along with several family-oriented events, the Crew hosted lots of activities to increase enthusiasm for the Fair: a "Reading Princess" teacher handed out prizes when she caught students reading, students who bought a Classroom Wish List book participated in a sucker surprise game, teachers and students decorated classroom doors for a contest, and an All for Books competition raised nearly $500. A giant scroll tracked the Fair's sale progress, and by the end of the Fair, the school surpassed its goal by 180 books! This Book Fair was a royal success.

Lake Nona Middle School
Orlando, FL

Book Fair Chairperson: Andrea Parisi
Student Crew Count: 18
Theme: One Book Can Transform You: Which One Will You Choose?

Lake Nona's Student Crew based their Book Fair off the very popular book Divergent, which was also a hit movie this year. The Crew decorated the media center with faction-inspired colors, which were boldly displayed in curtains and valences that advertised books on their Fair. The school also did a great job promoting the Fair through posters, advertisements on the morning show, Facebook, email, phone calls, and more. The staff got involved in the Fair during a special sneak peek. They even participated in and promoted dress-up days. Other fun Book Fair activities that generated enthusiasm about the Book Fair included a guessing game, ticket drawing for prizes, and a family and community shopping day. When the Fair ended, students who read Divergent were given a special invitation to attend a "Read and Feed" event where students participated in activities tied to each faction in the book. It was a huge hit! Besides making daily announcements to promote the Book Fair and the All for Books campaign (which raised more than $600), the administration also got involved in the What Would You Do for Reading? campaign. When the school reached the goal of selling 1,200 books, the administration agreed to go ziplining, which is actually part of an exciting scene in the book that takes place at the Hancock Building in Chicago. They even modeled the goal chart after the famous landmark. Lake Nona's Book Fair not only got kids excited about books, but also about reading!

Excelsior Springs Middle School
Excelsior Springs, MO

Book Fair Chairperson: Kathy Travis
Student Crew Count: 50+
Book Fair Theme: Fiesta of the Mind

As soon as their fall Book Fair ended, the Excelsior Springs Crew started working on their spring Fair! They used posters, the local newspaper, videos, announcements, emails, newsletters, websites, booktalks, and more to promote the Book Fair, and to create even more buzz, the Crew introduced Flat Cactus. This paper cactus appeared in different locations throughout the Book Fair and was photographed in classes, the media center, in front of a calendar, and other locations to build excitement around their fun, fiesta-inspired Book Fair. Teachers also got involved by incorporating Hispanic culture into their lesson plans, and a walk-around culture experience was held so students could look at displays created by students and classes. An All for Books competition engaged students in friendly rivalry, and the class that collected the most money got to see their teacher break a piñata and receive prizes. The Taco 'Bout It Family night was another huge hit! Families gathered to shop, participate in a scavenger hunt, and enjoy authentic corn tortillas and salsa made by a student. The Crew's goal was to make this Fair their best – and it was!

East Paulding Middle School
Dallas, GA

Book Fair Chairperson: Kara Bechtel
Student Crew Count: 12
Book Fair Theme: Minion Rush

East Paulding Middle School went all out for its Despicable Me 2 Fair. The entire school got involved by decorating doors as mall storefronts, which related to the movie, and joined fun activities that generated excitement for the Fair. Students participated in dress-like-a-Minion day, a homemade-toy activity, a Minion rush obstacle course during gym class, and a guessing game. A Minion was also hidden in the school during Book Fair week, and whoever found the lozenge-shaped yellow character could bring it to the Book Fair and receive a prize. All of these activities created interest in the Book Fair and its very student-friendly theme. Teachers also became very involved; they entered a creative contest where they baked cakes with a Minion theme. Spoons decorated to look like Minions served as invitations to a special Teacher Preview, which included cupcakes to eat and a cupcake-themed Classroom Wish List Board. A calling post, emails, morning announcements, scrolling announcements, the Author Video, flyers, Facebook, websites, bulletin boards, signs, and more were used to promote the Fair to the entire school community. A lunchtime Family Event, the Book Fairs app, the Online Fair, and What Would You Do for Reading? (the administrators would eat a cupcake surprise if the goal was met) all contributed to a very successful Fair at East Paulding Middle School!

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

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