It’s the end of August, which means that it’s time to go back to school. Naturally, most kids don’t want summer to end, and are not looking forward to going back. Perhaps if you remind them of the Scholastic Book Fair, they’ll be more excited.
At school, more so in younger grades, teachers will hand out Scholastic Book Orders. As fun as they are to look through, the book description barely tells you anything. Regardless, kids will beg their parents to order something. But when you have very little to go on, the product you receive isn’t always what you expected. Enter the book fair. About once or twice a year, the Scholastic company will hold a 3-day “book fair”. Besides having the newest books, they also sell assortments of posters, bookmarks, and interesting erasers, pencils, and other school supplies. By holding the fair at school, kids can read the whole description of a book, and even a couple of chapters to see if they like it. By doing this, they’re making the “informed decision” that teachers talk about. Coming from personal experience, I can tell you that I’ve spent many a dollar on books from the fair, and I always find it easier to decide on a book when I’m physically holding it in my hands.
As with everything, there are some problems with the fair, but nothing that can’t be solved.
- Kids have to bring the money to school themselves, which means that there’s a possibility of it being lost. Putting it in your child’s briefcase will send it directly to their teacher, where you can write a note explaining what you’d like them to do with it.
- Once at the fair, younger kids may be tempted to spend the money on things like light-up pens and chocolate-bar shaped highlighters instead of books. This can be solved by incorporating Open House Night into one of the fair days. That way parents can have a say in what their child buys.
- Some families may not be able to afford a book for their child. But, at every fair there’s a draw. The winner of the draw gets to pick out $25 worth of stuff from the fair. The winner’s teacher also gets $25 worth to get books for the classroom. If you don’t win, the school will also buy books for the library, so you can borrow one of the books for free.
In the end, whether or not you like to read, the book fair has something for everyone, be it a cat poster, a graphic novel, or a stationary kit. Also, the school gets to keep a portion of the money they make! Close to half of the proceeds from the fair help fund field trips, special programs, and new classroom resources. With over 55 million books being sold each year in 9 different countries, it looks like book fairs will be around for years to come.