Atwater holiday book fair

The Atwater PTO is holding the Holiday Book Fair, a fundraiser from November 30 until December 3 with aims to raise money for more books.

The Holiday Book Fair is one of the two book fairs that are held at Atwater, the other occuring one during the spring.

“I think it’s a good idea because most people like to read, so they would like an opportunity to get some new books,” said Paisley Luicer, sixth grade.

Diane Gulbronson and Kim Mackowski, Atwater parents, are the co-chairs of the Atwater Holiday Book Fair. Gulbronson and Mackowski have run the book fairs for the past four years and this year will be their fifth.

All students receive a tour of the book fair with their class the week of the fair.

“They’re in there for about half an hour, and they get to go from case to case, table to table, and look at the books,” Gulbronson said.

There are books of various genres for all ages, craft books, cookbooks and other novelty items at the book fair.

“Kids are crazy when they’re excited about the book fair: they’re crazy about all those novelty items that are going to come in,” Gulbronson said.

A recent statistic from Scholastic said that almost 11,420 books have been put into the hands of Atwater students over the last several years.

This year, the book fair will have some middle school books for the advanced readers.

“For every dollar that we make at the fair, half of that comes back to us in Scholastic dollars,” Mackowski said. “If we wanted to take money out of the fair, and do it for cash, we would get 25 cents on the dollar.”

This fair’s goal is make $10,000, and of that the PTO will get $5,000 to spend on books for the school.

Scholastic dollars are dollars that can in turn be spent on Scholastic items, especially books. Each teacher gets one hundred Scholastic dollars to spend on books that they want for their classroom.

Teachers also have wish lists of books that they want, and families can go to the book fair and buy books on their teacher’s wish lists for them.

“We also have a program called ‘All For Books’ where the children donate a dollar, and that dollar goes to the PTO to buy more books, and then Scholastic will purchase one book for children in needy schools,” Mackowski said.

The program didn’t get much activity at the beginning, so a candy arcade game was put in. The students can now donate a dollar for ‘All For Books’ and in return get one turn at a candy arcade game and play until they win. Gulbronson said that after the candy arcade was added, they made about five times more than what they used to make.

“Of all the fundraisers the PTO does, it’s the one that has the most direct impact on the students, their excitement about books and school,” said Alan Karbel, Library Media Specialist.

By Cela Migan

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