I remember when I was teaching in Port Colborne, Canada the excitement when a scholastic book fair came to school. Teachers were enthusiastic to have classes take time to browse through the books on shelves; picture books, stories, ‘chapter books’; reference books; books to read with Mom and Dad; books to read with grandparents; books to read under the covers at night.
So, I was delighted to learn that my grandchildren’s school were holding the Spring Book Fair this week and I was able to volunteer to help.
Wednesday morning, armed with my lunch, I set off for school with the rest of the family!
After the usual security and issued with my visitor pass I was directed to the library and awaited instructions. Chance to browse through some of the offerings. Books display trends but are also much loved friends that return year after year. I noticed new books and authors that seemed popular, and also thankful that old favourites were still there.
What had changed was the purchasing method. Two cash registers enabled a variety of payment methods and up to date points of sale….. lesson number one, how to work it. Turned out it wasn’t as complicated as it first appeared and I soon got the hang of it.
So a delightful busy morning followed as classes came in – each child bearing their ‘golden ticket’ allowing them to choose two (yes, two books, as Spring Fairs are bogof’s) books as a present from PTO. Each school should be truly thankful for parents and communities that donate time and money to enable children to access knowledge.
Lunch time was a quick bite to eat and more time to relax and open up the fair to those wanting to purchase more books enticed by their first visit.
As the fair was set up in the library and library classes had to continue to give the class teachers their much needed preparation time, the afternoon got off to a good start with classes visiting the library for their lesson as well as opportunity to purchase more books. This gave me the chance to talk with students and assist them to write their Thank you letters for their books. “Once a teacher, always a teacher” I guess.
A highlight of the day came during the two classes of pre-schoolers who chose their books and then sat in groups to listen to adults read with them. Guess who sat, “Criss-cross applesauce” on the carpet surrounded by children reading “Pete the Cat”?
Guess who sang the silly songs and did silly actions and caused a raucous and a rumpus?
Not really, let’s just say we did not sit quietly to read.
15:00 hrs time to tidy up. However I was not done. Now it was the best time, time to play grandma and go collect 3 children to choose their books to purchase.
With a little guidance from Grandma all three chose wisely and all were happy with their purchases. Then it was home time.
End of a perfect day. School seen through different eyes. Tired but happy. Ready to show the parents the great books their children had chosen because books are important.
Enjoy these pictures of the results.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
― Charles William Eliot