Shared Success: Bringing in Record Book Fair Sales

By Pamela Dear, Media Specialist at Baldwin Middle School in Guilford, CT

Pamela Dear Last fall, Baldwin Middle School hosted the biggest Book Fair sales day in the school’s history. Here's how they did it.

For the first time last fall, we recruited a Student Crew team from four of our reading development classes to help with the Fair. We gave these students the lofty goal of making our fall Book Fair “the biggest and best ever.

To promote the event, the Crew plastered our school with posters and wrote little jingles and poems for the morning announcements. During our back-to-school nights, they dressed like characters from a book, wore sandwich boards, and directed parents to the media center, where they offered book recommendations.

Thanks to their incredible effort and determination, we sold more books and raised more money than ever before.

Author Visit Makes a Great Incentive
The chance to win a visit for our school from New York Times best-selling author Anthony Horowitz was a great incentive from Scholastic Book Fairs. Still, I was concerned using a Student Crew would cause a big increase in traffic – up to 40 students in the library at one time – in an already noisy and crowded media center. We were a bit concerned, but we decided to give these students a chance. We thought that giving them an opportunity to run the Fair would instill a sense of accomplishment and leadership.

For many of these students, it was their first time being involved in anything like this. They took ownership of the Fair. I was so amazed. It was done really, really well.

Reaching Out to the Community
The Crew also organized a fundraiser to raise money to buy books for local kids in need.

To collect monies, they decided to place a big water bottle at the Book Fair checkout counter, so that anyone who had spare change could make a donation. They managed to raise $70 – money that we used to buy books at the Fair. Our Crewmembers handpicked the books, and then we donated them to a local shelter for the needy.

I was so proud of them that I bought each class a book of their choosing to show my appreciation for their efforts.

A Resounding Success in Every Way
Thanks to the creativity and efforts of the Student Crew, the Fair generated record book sales – more than any previous year. But, according to Dear, it was never about money.

The dollar figures were not nearly as important as the reaction from the kids. They were engaged, enthusiastic, empowered, and determined to make the Baldwin Book Fair the best ever. It was simply priceless.

Now our Crew students are working together to enter the Scholastic Book Fairs contest that may bring Anthony Horowitz, author of the popular Alex Rider Adventure series, to our school. They are excited they may get a chance to meet the famous author, face to face.

Thanks to efforts of our Student Crew, our Fair was a resounding success. More importantly, this event has given them something they will always treasure.
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