Why We Book Fair

Resurrecting an antiquated school tradition for a new generation…

Thinking back to your own school experience, there are probably a few things you can recall with perfect clarity. Those first day jitters, the first ‘A’ on your report card, the strange kid you sat next to every day who always somehow smelled like carrots.

You may also remember the book fair. Not trying to imply you’re old, but, well…book fairs have been around the block a couple times, haven’t they?

For some students, the book fair invokes a feeling of excitement akin to a field trip or end of quarter party. It’s different, it shakes up the routine, they get to buy a hundred erasers with their own money. As a parent, though, you may be wondering why we still do this considering that the book fair, in all honesty, seems a little silly in the age of Amazon and eBooks. Well, here is why!

  1. Book fairs fuel professional development. As a staff, we are constantly trying to improve and inform our knowledge of good literature. Through a company like Bookworm Central, we are handed hundreds of current children’s and young adult reads that our library staff carefully reads and reviews. We look for good writing, a great story and works that will challenge and reinforce our students’ faith journeys. We hold a special teacher preview to allow your child’s teacher(s) to come by in advance and check out titles they know will enforce the curriculum within the classroom.
  2. Book fairs build community. One of my favorite things about the book fair is the sheer number of people who walk through the door each week. Sometimes they buy, sometimes they don’t, but they always want to chat both with the library staff and other school parents, teachers, and students. Our library is a hub of activity year round but during book fair it brings new people into our library. Having so many people interacting in one place reminds me of one of the reasons I love working at a school like ICS: the relationships that are built in the day to day activities of life within our building.
  3. Book fairs inspire generosity. Look, you know you can buy the book maybe cheaper off of Amazon. We know that you could probably buy the book cheaper off of Amazon. And yet every time I think there is no way we will possibly meet the financial goal we’ve set for ourselves, our parents and students are generous. A large portion of our library budget comes through book fair sales, enabling us to buy books and other materials all through the school year, so every dollar matters. Every year God provides exactly what we need, and He uses you, our school community, to do that. The book fair also gives our students the opportunity to cultivate a spirit of giving. I can’t count the number of times a young student has come up to me with a wad of crumpled bills to buy a book for his teacher, his mom, his little brother, his neighbor’s cousin’s sick great aunt. It does my heart good to see the truths applied at home and in the classroom in action at the book fair.
  4. Book fairs teach stewardship. One click can buy you pretty much anything these days. It’s often easy to spend the money when you don’t have to see the physical amount in your hands. At the book fair, students must think critically about what they want in light of the amount they have. (A little bit of math in the library?! Who would’ve thought?!) Though we have all grown accustomed to the instant gratification offered by conducting much of our business online, there is still something magical for kids about perusing a store and making a purchase on their own. Students feel proud of their choices and the agency they have in going through the selection process.
  5. The students really, really like them. As long as our students continue to ask about when the next book fair will be, we will continue to offer them. As a library staff we pride ourselves in providing whatever resources our school asks for. We love being able to put on an event so highly anticipated by the students we love.

The spring book fair theme is Paws to Read, complete with special guest appearances by some of our favorite furry pups. Come see us May 2nd and 3rd between 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to take a look at all the books we have to offer!

Redeemed Reader is a fabulous resource we encourage parents to use for information on all the books our students are into, with reviews from Christian readers.

To find out more about our academic program click here.