Spring 2017 National Elementary School Contest Winners

Congratulations to the Spring 2017 National Elementary School Contest Winners!

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

Stayton Intermediate/Middle School
Stayton, OR
Book Fair Chairperson: Tammy Baxter
Theme: Happy Camper Book Fair
At Stayton Intermediate/Middle School’s spring 2017 Book Fair, the Book Fair chairperson, school staff, and students made sure that every reader had not just the perfect camping experience, but the ultimate reading experience too. Like all good campers, they helped their students find the joy in s’more great books.
Four months before the Book Fair, Stayton began to recruit volunteers, from PTO members to grandparents. Their specially designed volunteer crew T-shirts set them apart from the crowd at their Book Fair. By using social media, posters, and flyers, they promoted their Book Fair, encouraging students, teachers, parents, and other members of their community to participate and shop at their local Book Fair. This school also generated excitement for the Book Fair by holding a Pre-Book Fair classroom reading contest where the winning classroom was rewarded with $150.00 Scholastic Dollars to spend at the Book Fair!
They decorated their school as if they were building a campsite, preparing the whole school for their hike to the Stayton Book Fair. Mountains, waterfalls, and rivers met the eyes of shoppers as they entered the library now transformed into a representation of one of Oregon’s many National Parks. Trees, raccoons, bears, and even Big Foot populated this man-made forest. They were even greeted by small woodland creatures, like the student-designed hedgehogs made from an old, recycled book. When the sun went down, the stars came out as stringed lights lit up the library for their evening events.
Hosting a Book Fair preview for their teachers, a family night, and a grand event made Stayton Intermediate/Middle School’s Book Fair an inclusive campsite for everyone in their community to shop for books. Even Stayton Oregon’s Police Department volunteered by helping serve lunch at the grand event.
The Happy Camper Book Fair at Stayton Intermediate/Middle School surpassed all expectations through their superb decorations, engaging student activities, and by bringing the school and local community together for the love of reading, camping, and helping others. Scholastic Book Fairs® is ecstatic to award them the honor of first-place in the Spring 2017 National Elementary School Contest!

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

Verne A. Duncan Elementary School
Happy Valley, OR
Book Fair Chairperson: Tammy Belafsky
Theme: Happy Camper Book Fair
At Verne A. Duncan Elementary School’s Happy Camper Book Fair, both teachers and students had s’more fun with books. Their Book Fair was held during their Celebration of Learning Week. With help from 100% school-wide participation, Verne A. Duncan not only improved their sales from their previous book fair, but they also exceeded their goal of $13,000 in sales! With a Book Fair that was such a huge success, they wanted to give back to their community by donating $500 worth of books to another school in their district.
Students’ artwork covered the walls, transforming the school into Camp Duncan. Each classroom was a campsite with the forest-like library hosting the Book Fair. Every flat surface of the school seemed to be covered in trees and creatures, fitting for a perfect camp. Family events and activities excited students and the families about reading and the Book Fair. By the end of the week’s activities, the students of Verne A. Duncan Elementary School logged over 80,000 minutes of reading!
Saint Mark Catholic School
Southwest Ranches, FL
Book Fair Chairperson: Sandy Garcia and Danielle McConnell
Theme: Happy Camper Book Fair
Saint Mark Catholic School took the Happy Camper theme and made it their own. Students, teachers, and parents volunteered their time to make their Book Fair a success. Student art covered the hallways of Saint Mark and welcomed shoppers to the Book Fair event.
Advantageous activities were held throughout the week of the Book Fair, including a “Happy Camper Gala Night”, dress up day, Sunday youth event, Pre-K camper event, Easter event, and a Kindergarten readiness workshop. Through the All for Books program, they raised over $180 to purchase books for Hope Rural School in Indiantown, FL. Their goal was to sell 2,600 books throughout the Book Fair, but they surpassed that goal by 300 books! Saint Mark Catholic School exceeded expectations with their Happy Camper Book Fair and in turn taught s’more kids the love of reading.
Our Lady of Fatima School
Lafayette, LA
Book Fair Chairperson: Shannon Biggs
Theme: Happy Camper Book Fair
Our Lady of Fatima School generated a lot of excitement throughout their community for their Book Fair by using some “intents” advertising strategies including the use of: social media, banners, flyers, catalogs, teacher websites, their church bulletin and more!
Activities for the Book Fair lasted all week with library lessons, teacher preview days, family night, and a camping theme dress-up day. Paw prints lead shoppers to the Book Fair that featured its own Mount Readmore, camping themed snacks, and bears. Volunteers wore “Happy Camper” T-shirts throughout the fair and helped wherever they were needed. The teachers of Our Lady of Fatima School were blown away when over 160 books were donated to classrooms throughout the school.
Coconut Palm Elementary School
Pembroke Pines, FL
Book Fair Chairperson: Leticia Llorens
Theme: Happy Camper Book Fair
Coconut Palm Elementary School started by planning their G.R.E.A.T. Book Fair, meaning goals, recruitment, excitement, advertising, and tools. “Camp Bookawanna” was home to some happy campers. These readers performed dances and songs, participated in a class poster competition, and participated in a spirit week where they dressed-up for sock day, hat day, wilderness day, and crazy critter day.
47 volunteers donned “Camp Bookawanna” T-shirts and helped make their Book Fair a success by hosting both a Family Event and a Grand Event for all the students’ loved ones to get in on the fun. Coco the Owl encouraged students to donate to the All for Books program to reach their goal of $1,000. Coconut Palm Elementary School created a wonderful and inviting camping environment while also supporting the love of reading for their students and in their community.

President’s Award for Exceptional Performance winners (who win 500 Scholastic Dollars) are:

President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Student Crew):
Berlin Intermediate School
Berlin, MD
Book Fair Chairperson: Shemaiah Sampson
Theme: Happy Camper Book Fair
The spring 2017 Book Fair at Berlin Intermediate School was the first time the chairperson enlisted students as volunteers, and boy was she glad she did! With a Student Crew team of seven members and hours upon hours of hard work, the school saw an increase in book sales of 12 percent from their previous Book Fair and the chairperson saw her Student Crew learning invaluable life lessons. She guided, but the Crew brainstormed, planned, and then executed everything, using many of the tools and ideas provided by Scholastic Book Fairs®.
They set out on their first task—to set a reading goal of 1 million words, which they blew out of the water at 1.7 million! They enlisted the help of the principal with a hilarious stunt if the goal was met, and recruited teachers to hand out “Get Caught Reading” tickets to students. The Crew planned a Family Fun Night with crafts, popcorn, a photo booth, and shopping at the Book Fair, and conducted contests throughout the entire Book Fair week. They even reached out to local businesses asking for monetary donations so every kid could have a book from the Fair! Through advertising on social media and school resources like the newsletter and morning announcements, the Student Crew at Berlin Intermediate School didn’t just inspire their peers to read, they inspired them to have fun while doing it!
President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Family Event):
Cordova Elementary School
Cordova, TN
Book Fair Chairperson: Julie A. Gerhardt
Theme: Happy Camper Book Fair
In an effort to accommodate increased enrollment at Cordova Elementary School during Book Fair week, the chairperson planned multiple family events at different times throughout the day and week. Not only did this planning allow for more physical space and ease of shopping at each event, it allowed parents to attend the Book Fair as it fit their schedules.
Two Pastries with Parents mornings were held, dividing up the school between Kindergarten through second grade and third grade through fifth grade. Parents enjoyed munching on donuts while shopping the Fair with their student.
And the big event was Family Reading Night, where grade-level teachers planned literacy activities for the students and other themed activities, including a storytelling tent, photo booth, trail mix station, gift certificate giveaways, and the Book Fair, of course!
Hosting three separate Family Events sure paid off for Cordova Elementary School — their sales increased by 9 percent — it was happy trails to all!
President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Decorations):
Sugarcreek Elementary School
Cowansville, PA
Book Fair Chairperson: Whiteney Grabowski
Theme: Camp Read S’more
As students and families stepped into Sugarcreek Elementary School’s Book Fair, it felt like they were instead stepping into the outdoors! Their spring 2017 Camp Read S’more Book Fair was sparkling with twinkling “stars” or lights in the sky, purple mountains’ majesties, and wild animals galore. The decorations didn’t just look good, they sounded good, too! Students from each grade created paper murals with bears, moose, deer, and foxes that actually made different animal sounds because of Makey Makeys they installed as part of the artwork. Younger grades created trees, acorns, owls, and smaller woodland creature portraits as additional student-created décor, while red-and-white gingham table covers adorned each Book Fair table. But the most memorable décor item was the Happy Camper Giving Tree for the school’s All for Books™ program. Standing outside the Book Fair entrance, 16 red-and-white toadstools surrounded the floor around the three-dimensional tree trunk. Branches stretched from the floor to the ceiling and featured dozens of All for Books slips as green leaves. There was even a paper bird perched upon a branch! The decorations boosted excitement and brought the Book Fair to life and helped them surpass their goal by more than $2,000 in sales!
President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (All for Books™):
Hereford Elementary School
Hereford, PA
Book Fair Chairperson: Beth Anne Lasalle
Theme: Happy Camper Book Fair
At Hereford Elementary School’s Happy Camper Book Fair, teachers’ classrooms had s’more books than ever before thanks to their multi-faceted All for Books™ campaign. Not only did the entire school participate in a classroom coin challenge where they raised $1,800, they conducted three other All for Books fund-raising efforts!
The Book Fair team collected donations from community members and businesses and sold raffle tickets for prizes, collecting more than $300. They also hosted a bake sale with camping-themed treats, including camping cupcakes, trail mix, and s’mores, raising an additional $400. Finally, as shoppers made their purchases at the Book Fair, cashiers gave them the option to round-up their sales to the nearest dollar. The balance was then added to the All for Books campaign total which added up to a whopping $2,780.77! The money was used to purchase books from the Fair for learning support teachers, autistic support teachers, reading support teachers, and speech teachers, making many teachers and their students seriously happy campers!
President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Advertising):
Franklin Elementary School
Mankato, MN
Book Fair Chairperson: Tracy Ball
Theme: N/A
Franklin Elementary School took the advertising of their Book Fair to a whole new level, utilizing social media and even the smell of freshly popped popcorn to get the word out and families in! First, they created a closed Facebook PTO group and shared a live video as a preview to families and volunteers of the Book Fair. Then, they posted regular updates to the Facebook group, including their All for Books™ campaign progress, top-selling books, links to Author Videos, date and time reminders, and more, keeping everyone in the loop about the great activities and efforts happening during Book Fair week. And to top it off, during the parent/teacher conferences during Fair week they offered fresh popcorn, enticing shoppers into the Fair with the irresistible smell of buttered goodness and the promise of exciting books and reading possibilities!
President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (What Would You Do for Reading):
Arrowhead Primary School
Copley, OH
Book Fair Chairperson: Michelle Neuhauser
Theme: Happy Camper Book Fair
For its first-time Book Fair reading challenge, Arrowhead Primary School sure hit it out of the camp! After students had purchased plenty of reading materials from the Book Fair, the school asked students to read at least 20 minutes every night. If they reached a total of 30,000 minutes, they would receive a night of no homework and the principal would get homework of his own: match the most minutes read by a student in one day, which was more than 750 minutes! The principal happily camped out reading books at the school with a sign that said, “Please do not disturb: Reading challenge homework in progress!” Their What Would You Do for Reading? challenge truly inspired students and launched a strong reading culture in the school!
President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Grand Event):
Castaic Elementary School
Castaic, CA
Book Fair Chairperson: Tonya Fernandez
Theme: Happy Camper Book Fair
At Castaic Elementary School, the most popular and well-attended event throughout the entire Book Fair week is their Grand Event! Held during lunch time, any parent, grandparent, family member, or friend is invited to join their student for lunch, and then shop the Book Fair afterward. The Book Fair team heavily promotes this event, knowing how much students and Grands enjoy this special time together, and the numbers prove it — sales increased by 8 percent! But for the school, the biggest success is exposing kids to different books and surrounding them with role models who encourage and enjoy reading.
President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Student Engagement):
Southeast Elementary School
Sycamore, IL
Book Fair Chairperson: Michele Whisenhunt
Theme: Happy Camper Book Fair
The Book Fair team at Southeast Elementary School likes to think of their Book Fair as a “reading carnival” — a way for kids to associate reading with fun. And for their spring 2017 Book Fair, they initiated multiple student engagement efforts to pull that off! They launched numerous contests including: a decorating contest, a guessing game, a poster contest, a reading contest, a coin collection challenge, scavenger hunts, and a raffle. There was something for every student! For events, the team invited special visitors to get kids excited, such as a park ranger who brought a live owl and a storyteller/singer who performed for shoppers at the nighttime Family Event. And, as a special effort to get kids engaged in the Book Fair and get their creativity flowing, they hosted a Young Authors Reading Night, which is a writing contest among students from each classroom. The entire week was filled with games and activities centered around reading and books, and thanks to the All for Books™ coin challenge, every student received a book that was purchased with the money raised. Needless to say, it was all fun and games at the Southeast Elementary School Book Fair and it had a profound effect on the students’ excitement about reading!