Archive for Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Read, white and blue

Book fair provides a funding boost for school libraries

November 24, 2004

Although students at Lansing Elementary and Intermediate schools won't be voting for several years, they got a taste of politics at the biannual book fair, Read, White and Blue.

Books with political themes, including "Duck for President," were among the featured and most popular books at the fair, a major fund-raiser for the schools' libraries.

Laura Faulkner, organizer of the fair, said "Duck for President" was a top seller. She had to order additional copies to meet the demand.

Faulkner said the money raised at the book fair was especially important because funding for library needs is always tight. Money the libraries receive from the school district usually isn't enough to cover all needs, she said.

"Everything is cut, cut, cut," Faulkner said.

Faulkner and other members of the Lansing Parent Teachers Association organized and volunteered throughout the six-day book fair, which ended Tuesday. They worked daily before and after school at the LES and LIS libraries and Thursday at the Family Night at Elementary School gym.

Keeping with the election theme, Faulkner converted campaign signs left over from the election to put up around the fair, and visitors entered a contest for a door prize by putting their entry in a ballot box. She also handed out American flag pencils to children.

The libraries aren't the only ones that benefit from the book fair. Classroom teachers made a wish list of books they wanted for their classrooms. Parents picked from the list and made a donation to their child's teacher's library. While some teachers selected specific books, others left to donors to select the books.

"Many of the teachers put 'Pick any book that your child would like to read,'" Faulkner said.

Classroom interaction and community involvement helped increase the fair's success. Area businesses donated pencils, helium for balloons and money for decorations to help jazz up the event. The schools promoted the book fair, by featuring books from the fair in librarians' book talks leading up to the fair. The PTA also hosted a contest for each class to guess how many beads were in a jar with the winning classroom earning books for their class.

Faulkner said the libraries would find out how many more books they would be adding to their shelves in the coming weeks.

The PTA will tally the money brought in by the book fair in the coming week.

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