Round Up for Reading with All for Books

By Laura Hile, Teacher/Librarian and Book Fair Chairperson at Johnsonville Elementary in Cameron, NC
 
Laura HileWe like to use the All for Books program to help build our classroom libraries. In the past, we’ve created a lollipop tree where patrons can purchase a lollipop for a quarter. We also keep an All for Books donation jar next to the registers.
 
During our last Book Fair, we thought we would simply ask each patron if they would like to round up their Book Fair purchase to the next dollar. Approximately 85-90% of our patrons choose to round up to the nearest dollar. Including the students!
 
The money was used to buy at least one book from every teacher's wish list. Typically, we are able to buy at least two books from the wish lists of every teacher who submits one. Last book fair, we provided books to twenty-five teachers!
 
My advice for other book fair chairpeople is that consistency is the key! You must ask every patron every time if they would like to round up.
 
Also, stating exactly what the money will be used for has proven to be helpful. Patrons, parents in particular, prefer to know exactly where their donations are going. We have found that simply saying, “Would you like to round up to the nearest dollar for All for Books?” does not work as well as saying, “Would you like to add (insert round up amount here) to round up to the next dollar? We are collecting the extra change to provide books for the classroom libraries.”
 
All in all, we made close to $300 in only four days.

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