Scholastic Book Fairs-NAESP Foundation Alliance Results in Powerful New Advocate for Principals

On March 24, Scholastic Book Fairs and the National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation (NAESPF) – two organizations that share a passion and commitment to educators and students alike – forged a partnership that will benefit principals and the schools they serve.

The partnership was announced at the NAESP 2012 Annual Conference: Best Practices for Better Schools convention in Seattle. The NAESP Foundation is the philanthropic arm of NAESP, a national non-profit organization that represents the principals of 33 million children in grades kindergarten through 8 throughout the United States, Canada, and overseas.

The organization advocates access to an excellent education for all students, and it serves to sustain and promote high professional standards of leadership among principals while promoting education as a national priority.

Scholastic Book Fairs President Alan Boyko celebrated the common ground that both organizations share. “We found that we have a lot of the same goals. It’s about the success of children,” Alan shared. “One of our goals is to understand how we can support principals in their initiatives to increase the amount of reading that students are doing in school and at home. We know that children who read more read better.”

Gail Connelly, NAESP executive director and president of the NAESP Foundation, agrees that literacy and reading must be at the forefront of their combined efforts. “Principals fill a vital role in assuring that all children are literate. Through our new NAESP Foundation and Scholastic partnership, principals will have access to the literacy resources they need to engage teachers, parents, and students,” Gail said.

“Working together, the NAESP Foundation and Scholastic seek to stem the tide of illiteracy by providing educators valuable tools that can help children gain esteem and confidence as they master literacy skills,” she continued.

Alan hopes to help principals understand the importance of Book Fairs as a powerful reading partner able to support year-round student reading motivation and practice. According to Alan, research shows that children who read just 20 minutes a day score in the top 20 percent in standardized testing. For children to develop proficiency, however, reading must be emphasized not just in school but at home.

In continuing to build upon their common foundation, Alan said he hopes the Scholastic Book Fairs partnership with the NAESP Foundation will extend into professional development for principals centered on reading, family engagement, and booktalks. In addition, he hopes more principals will take advantage of existing initiatives, such as Read for the World Record and Read and Rise.

Ernie Mannino, chief executive officer of the NAESP Foundation, looks forward to how Scholastic Book Fairs and NAESP can work with principals to help increase student achievement. “Principals, and all educators, know that literacy is the cornerstone of learning, so if through this partnership we can reach parents and children who might not otherwise be able to avail themselves of these great resources and open up new learning opportunities for children, it will be a success.”

Rafe Esquith
Rafe Esquith, teacher and author of Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire, delivered an electrifying and emotional closing keynote address on March 24, the last day of the NAESP 2012 Annual Conference: Best Practices for Better Schools convention in Seattle. Click here to read more about Rafe and his inspiring and unconventional approach to education.
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