Top tips for your next Scholastic Book Fair

Following a 3 year (Covid-19) enforced break, our school decided to run the Scholastic Book Fair again. The main reason for doing this was based on the huge success of previously Book Fairs. Apart from the Book Fair being so much fun for the kids (they were so excited seeing the hall turned into a bright and colourful bookstore for a week and at being able to choose their own books and stationery), the benefit for the school in terms of Rewards (i.e. books earned) was just too good an opportunity to ignore.

This year was my first year to run the Book Fair. While I found the idea quite daunting at first- the help and support I got from both the staff at Scholastic (who were always on the other end of the phone) and the Scholastic Book Fair Guide on the website made this undertaking far more manageable. The staff have lots of helpful tips and advice to help you run your Book Fair smoothly and effectively. They have listened to schools who have previously run Book Fairs and they know what works and what doesn’t.

I kept a running record of my own experience of hosting a Book Fair and I have listed my own tips and dos and don’ts below which I will refer to when running my next Book Fair, which I will do, seeing as it was such a huge success and a fun few days for the school. Now all I have to do is decide what books to spend our huge reward funs on!

  1. Print off a wish list for each child. Have spare wish lists and plenty of extra pens!
  2. Have a separate table for stationery and have a price list nearby.
  3. Have a table in the centre of the room with 2-4 cashiers on duty. Have plenty of coin change. Have one calculator per cashier. If using student volunteers as I did, have them work in pairs, especially when totalling amounts and giving change.
  4. Print out order forms. One suggestion might be to have 1-2 order forms per class or year group. This will make it easier when distributing the books.
  5. Have Student Council/Green Schools Committee etc help out as stewards, cashiers, stationery sales- Train them beforehand in using the calculator, giving change, taking orders, filling in ‘last copy’ forms, monitoring shelves etc.
  6. Write a letter to parents promoting Book Fair two weeks beforehand and another letter a few days before it starts. Then, write a final letter after the Book Fair letting them know how much in Rewards, i.e. books, their purchases have benefited the school.

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