This one is for all you educators out there. Another school year is now underway and one of the biggest challenges facing most schools these days is money for supplies and books. While it may seem like a hopeless and daunting task, there are far more resources and fundraising opportunities available to educators and librarians than many realize. Take it from a former librarian that took care of two elementary library collections without a budget at all, but who still managed to spruce up her libraries with new decorations and reads. As they say, where there is a will, there is a way!
Believe it or not, there are several book sellers that offer book fairs and there are even a few different kinds of fairs you can host: in school, in store or online. This flexibility allows you to plan the best fair possible for your school community.
Also, Barnes & Noble and Schuler Books & Music both offer educator discounts of 20% off books for the classroom and educational materials.
A resource for educators that is usually overlooked is the publishers themselves. Oftentimes reaching out to publishers can yield great rewards in the form of posters, stickers, bookmarks and, best of all, books! Most publishers will have a customer service e-mail or some sort of promotions department that you can contact. While this approach may not work every time, it is certainly worth a try. When I was a librarian and began contacting publishers it took a long time to hear back, if I heard from them at all. At the time, I found Penguin was the most responsive and generous, providing me with a box of posters and other promotional materials all in doubles as I had two libraries to spruce up.
Outside of the traditional book fair route, there are other ways to raise money to buy books for a classroom or school library. Here are a few to consider:
Donations and Book Swaps/Exchanges
Never underestimate the generosity of others.
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.