October means its Scholastic Book Fair time and today we’ve got some first hand tips about how you can create a truly organized and successful school event. While I always volunteer for our book fairs, I’ve spent a few of those years serving in a leadership role and have come to find out there are a few key things to keep in mind no matter if you are simply volunteering to staff set-up, preview or buy days, or tear down, or if you decide to raise your hand during that PTA meeting and say bring it on! We all have to help to make any event a success at school and most importantly, its all about the kids. So here are some tips to help you when it comes to organizing the book fair.
If you have a well organized PTA, your committee chairs will have notebooks they will hand down from chair member to chair member year after year. It just makes good sense that if you don’t inherit one, now is your chance to create one. Get yourself a binder, some planning worksheets and calendars just like those you’ll find in our GO MOM!® DIY Planner, and map it out. Starting anywhere from as far back as 6 months and no later than 4 months. There is a lot of advance planning that goes into place both with your school and scheduling with your principal and of course with Scholastic directly as well. The Scholastic Book Fair Toolkit will save your day!
No matter what I’m volunteering for, I’m a huge fan of serving as a co-chair because many hands make light work. When it comes to the book fair, I serve with a good friend and neighbor and this makes all the difference knowing that she’s got my back as I have hers and we can tag team. She’s all about logistics and I’m all about creative. Yes that might surprise you but she’s a technical writer so the girl has logistics down. It also just makes good sense when it comes to managing our mutually busy schedules.
Know your Limits
Fall is a busy time in my family and with kids spanning elementary to college, I have to be careful not to overcommit myself. That’s why I’m the perfect person for something like decorations. Its an important part of the book fair but not tied to the execution of the Book Fair all week long. Believe me, I’ll be there, but the responsibility of counting the money or handling refreshing book orders daily is my co-chair’s job. I am there for all the other much less important but none the less necessary little things that really add up.
If its not natural for you, find a friend who has a PR frame of mind that can brainstorm ideas that will work for you. Fortunately we have a fabulous tradition for Book Fair week that is second to none. Things that we do to help the Book Fair stand out include a child centered art contest tied to the theme inviting all children to enter and include their artwork in our decorations for the week. We have an event called Donuts and Dads where on the Thursday of our Book Fair week, Dads are invited to come and have donuts with their kids and of course the Book Fair is open for them to stop by in the morning. We also have Pajama Night on one evening where the Book Fair is open after hours. This helps us accommodate everyone’s schedules, not just expecting parents to come in during the day during the week but instead giving them a chance to come in as a family. We also make sure to include all kinds of fun giveaways throughout the week.
For any project that involves volunteers and creativity, get yourself on Pinterest. Check out our Organized Book Fair Board that I put together after one of our PTA meetings. I’ve got all kinds of ideas shared there and we’d love to know what kinds of Book Fair Ideas you might be sharing as well. Its really about working together not only in the community of people you know but with volunteers and Book Fair Chairs everywhere.
We are all in this together to help our kids continue to foster their love of learning. I can’t think of a better place volunteer school wide every year than helping create an organized Book Fair. Tell me…
What do you love most about your child’s Book Fair?
We’d love to know. Thanks so much for stopping by…we’ll see you next time!