Book Orders & School Fundraisers
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Book Orders & School Fundraisers
Can anyone recommend an alternative to Scholastic Book Club for
schools? I'm just wondering if there's one out there that is less
commercial and/or features more diversity?
Thanks so much.
school mom helping with book orders
Years ago when my daughter was in elementary school, I got a book fair
together that wasn't Scholastic! It took some work, but was very
successful. I called many bookstores and asked if they wanted to
participate and we worked out prices and pick-up arrangements. I had an
official letter from the school that I could bring to the places so that
they knew I was for real and not just trying to steal their books. The
point, too, was that the books would be affordable so I asked for only
paperbacks, if possible. The places I called were: Marcus Books, Oyate
(not a store, but a distributor of books by and about Native Amerians),
Arab Resource Center (not sure if they are still around, also not a book
store, but had books), East Wind Books, Children's Book Press, and a few
more that I can't remember. I also got the Lawrence Hall of Science
bookstore involved. It was really fun but alot of work. I got some
dedicated volunteers and we went for it! If the school is open to it,
maybe you can do it yourself! At this point though, there may be a place that
would just bring their variety of books into the school and save you the
time and energy. If you are interested in talking about this more you can
Local bookstores like Cody's and Diesel do school book fairs. Our school
hasn't used them, so I can't compare, but I'd love to switch over to not
only a local company, but one that will take into consideration what kinds
of books a particular school community might want. Hicklebees is a kids
bookstore in San Jose and they do tons of book fairs and offer probably
the best selection, but I'm not sure if they'll come to East Bay. Worth a
not a scholastic fan
Try Chinaberry books (1 800 776 2242 www.chinaberry.com/) - they have
sponsored school book fairs with free shipping in past. Let us know what
What do other parents do with the book order forms kids bring home? My first
grader wants nearly 2/3rds of the books on the form. Is this an oppurtunity to
teach budgeting? A way to encourage literacy? Do I only let him get books HE
can read? What???
I'm sure I'll figure this out myself, but I'm curious how others handle it.
I was the same way when I was a kid...
We started a practice with those too frequent book order things
that my 13 year old daughter still uses with the too frequent
catalogs for trendy teen clothes that show up in our mailbox. I
think it was very useful.
First, we made it clear that we would order only books. No
software, no little stuffed animals or other toys. Then the kid
went through and marked everything they wanted. We looked over
it, and occasionally removed something from consideration, like
if they ''forgot'' and marked a toy (the toy/book combos were
tricky) or if we thought a book wasn't appropriate for them for
some reason. Then they had to add up the price of everything
that remained chosen (when they were younger, they wrote the
list and we helped add with a calculator.) They were usually
really surprised at how big that total was. I would then give
them an amount I was willing to spend, and they went through
and considered their list and subtracted the least desirable
items until they got to the amount I would pay.
I felt they learned a lot from this process, about how the cost
of many items adds up, and how to think about what you really
want when you can't have it all.
I always let me kids circle the ones they wanted, and then I'd
pick a few for each. I like to always encourage reading and a
love of books. If they had several books still from a previous
order that hadn't been read or enjoyed, I'd reconsider for that
I was overwhelmed at first too - but now just say they can get
books every so often, if I feel I can afford it. I also tell
them no movie tie-in books, no books with little ''prizes'', no
stupid books... Arbitrary maybe but the prices are actually
reasonable and the flyers often have really good books that you
should have in your kid's library anyway. But yes, I do also
tend to stick to the books they can actually read.
this page was last updated: May 27, 2012
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