For the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Winchester Public School was able to offer a much-anticipated Scholastic book fair from June 7-9. The book fair drew significant interest from WPS students, many of whom brought large sums of cash to school to purchase new reading material. The book fair was set up in the school’s library, and even as individual class shopping trips to the library wrapped up, students would invariably think of another item they wanted to purchase, and return with more money the next day.
Mrs. Annette Rice, the Learning Commons Informationist at WPS, explained that the purpose of a school holding a Scholastic book fair is two-fold. First, the book fair provides an opportunity for children to purchase books that are relatively low in cost. Second, while the book inventory is owned by Scholastic, and Scholastic retains the revenue from book sales, schools who participate are compensated with purchasing credits. This means that after a successful book fair, the school’s library can receive new material for free to help keep library shelves freshly stocked.
The three-day Winchester PS book fair had a revenue goal of $1,500 this year, which was nearly surpassed in the first day alone. After sales wrapped up, total revenue was well over three times the original goal. Mrs. Rice was very pleased with the outcome.
In order to ensure that all families would have an equal opportunity to support their children’s learning and reading, Mrs. Rice visited House of Lazarus in the days leading up to the fair, to collect some less expensive books to make available for sale. House of Lazarus was happy to provide several boxes of books, of which they receive many donations. Mrs. Rice sorted through these books, and displayed them for sale for just 25 cents each. Many students were appreciative of having the lower cost books available. Co-op student James Burton helped Mrs. Rice for the duration of the book fair, and took a special interest in selling the 25 cent books.
To help create a fun shopping atmosphere, James brought in a record player to play some easy listening music during book sales, and he even brought along some vintage records to show to the students.
As the book fair came to an end, Mrs. Rice couldn’t help but be excited about the Scholastic credits earned, and the anticipated new material which will help ensure that a healthy love of reading continues to be passed down from generation to generation.