I just helped wrap up Scholastic’s Book Fair week at my youngest child’s school. Most of you know Mr. Toes is autistic and in a Special Education Classroom (ESE).
Being surrounded by books all day and helping kiddos find stuff to read, it’s like a crack addict working in a meth lab. It’s Awesome!!! I always enjoy working with the kids in the book section. This year though, I got three criers in one day! The first kiddo was taken care of when we found her envelope with her money in it, the second was a special needs kiddo (not in my class) and we knew the family did not have extra money for this, so another mom bought a book for him and the third kiddo (sobbing crocodile tears….<sigh> rip my heart out…..) I bought his book ($6.00). I am such a sucker, no wonder I can’t discipline my own kids. All they have to do is cry and I am putty in their hands! At least it was for a good cause. My husband can’t yell for buying a book for a little one!!
I thought writing down a few tips for a successful visit to the book fair would be beneficial to some of you out there.
Tip #1 Confirm with the teacher that the class will be attending the fair. Let the fair committee know that your class wants to attend. If your school/state has a requirement for middle schoolers / high schoolers to acquire volunteer service hours, ask to have a handful of these kids on hand. Their job will be to help write down wish lists for the special needs kiddos.
Tip #2 Arrange for the kiddos to visit first thing in the morning. Go once at the beginning of the fair to look only and write wish lists to take home to their parents. The second visit should be near the end and they should be allowed to purchase a book. Try not to have any other classes in there. The fair will be visually stimulating as it is, having a bunch of NT kids and parents in there will just add to the overload.
Tip #3 Have the room mom / parent send an email and a hard copy home to all the parents letting them know when they are visiting the book fair. Tell the parents to expect a wish list from their child. Instruct the parents to place money (anywhere from $6.00 – $23.00) in an envelope with the child’s name on the outside and the name(s) of the book(s) he/she has chosen.
Tip #4 If the class is big, take them in batches. If you have a class fund, consider using some to purchase a book for those kiddos who couldn’t afford it.
Tip #5 When in doubt, advise the Parents to take their child to the fair at the beginning of the school day and bring them to class a tish late or pick the child up slightly early (15 minutes or so) and take them.
Tip #6 If it is within your family budget, consider purchasing a book for your child’s classroom! Your teacher will appreciate it!
I hope these tips are useful to you and your class. The book fair should be experienced by everyone! Books are always a good idea!
Stay Safe & Stay Informed and Keep Reading!!