Stretford Grammar School’s Book Fair Takeover
Back in November 2017, Year 12 pupils at Stretford Grammar School in Manchester took on the challenge of planning and running their Scholastic Book Fair.
We first heard about the book fair when our school librarian: Ms McCarthy, asked for a dedicated team of year 12s to take over and run the annual school book fair. Once we’d shown our interest, Ms McCarthy set up the first of many meetings. During the first meeting, we decided on our job roles using the aid of the job advertisements found in the Scholastic pack. We based our decisions on personality types, with the creative of us opting for roles such as ‘Display Specialist’, while others went for job titles like ‘Book Fair Manager’. Having known each other for our whole high school experience, it was relatively easy to decide on the roles, but we still gained some valuable practice in talking about our qualities and skills that will help us during our UCAS applications as well as job interviews.
Having decided roles, we organised weekly meetings at lunch times running up to the date of the book fair and created a group chat in order to convey information fast. This proved effective as we didn’t have to wait until weekly meeting to inform the Manager of any issues, such as when we discovered that the books were arriving later than we anticipated and that we would have to change the day of our book fair. Our meetings, however, proved more useful for our Manager to keep track of where everyone is up to and to remind everyone of what tasks were still left to do.
During the lead up to the book fair, our ‘Advertising Specialist’ organised a number of events to spread the word about the upcoming book fair. We designed posters that were stuck around school containing the date of our book fair, these same posters were given to each form teacher to read out during form time, further spreading awareness of our book fair. In addition to this, we created a number of competitions, such as the ‘Design your own Book Cover’ which students completed in form time and handed in at the library. Awards were given to a winner from each year in the form of discounts for the book fair. We wrote a letter with the official school heading that was sent home so that parents knew to send their kids to school with money on the day of our book fair. Also, we organised a raffle to win the complete Hunger Games collection while reminding students of our event. The winners of the raffle also won a book bag which was designed and made by students and teachers.
Our target was £300 as we knew that often older students would not attend the book fair at all. However, this was not the case, as we were able to speak to teachers prior the event and organise a schedule where students could leave their lesson for a twenty minute period in order to attend. The lead to more students being in the library for our book fair than expected. Although we had a few issues during the organisation stage, our book fair was successful, and we managed to raise £800 for Scholastic, meaning that we received £492 back for our school in the form of library books.