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Elementary school to host book fair

By Lisa Scott
Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs Elementary School will host the Scholastic Book Fair Nov. 11-21 during school hours in the school library.

Families, teachers and community members are invited to attend the fair, which will feature a special theme: “Reading Oasis — A Cool Place to Discover Hot Books!”

Many activities at the school accompany the book fair and the Egyptian theme, as this is both an exciting time for students at the school and a fun and gratifying way to increase interest in reading for pleasure.

Family Night will be held Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 5-7 p.m.  The Partners In Education Committee (P.I.E.) has organized the evening. Representatives of the Colorado Gators Reptile Farm, an alligator and reptile rescue facility in the San Luis Valley, will be in town to present educational demonstrations and host a petting zoo. A delicious and nutritious homemade dinner will be served in the cafeteria.  All families are invited to the school for an evening full of “Egyptian animal” fun, to shop the book fair and enjoy a meal together.

A week prior to the opening of book fair, the large wall in the central front hallway will be decorated.  An Egyptian desert scene will be created complete with pyramids, palm tree oasis, camel carrying books, hieroglyphs and other decor that inspires reading at the book fair.

Students visit the book fair with their class once each week that the fair is open.  The first week they preview the books for sale, especially the new releases.  There are a wide variety of books and price ranges available and there is always a huge supply of bargain items as low as $1.99.  The second week, students view the “Author DVD,” supplied by Scholastic, which features authors discussing the books they wrote with kids in mind.

The elementary school has been hosting a book fair since 1982.  The 2012 fall book fair netted the school $2,138 in cash and over $670 in books for the school library.  Proceeds from book fairs are used for reading and educational improvements and to help fund the purchase of necessary unbudgeted supplies for the school.  The goal this year is to build and replace chapter book collections for classroom libraries and to purchase a portable stage.

The variety of reading that is done at each grade level is vast.  The first goal is to have a variety of genre and authors that the students can read in class together, out loud, with a mentor or a buddy, alone or at home.  The second goal is to build vocabulary.  Finally, teachers strive to exposure students to different authors and genres of books that give a child insight into other cultures, worldwide locations, opinions and vantage points, history and the future, expand the imagination and much more.

Many of the school’s current titles are tattered and worn and in need of replacement.  Additionally, each classroom is trying to accumulate six-10 books of the same title to encourage group reading, like a book club.  There is also a focus to add rich literature to the upper grade levels.

The current stage is a handmade plywood box that weighs a ton and is difficult to move and store.  The school uses the stage over 25 times during the school year and a portable stage with a higher rise and several modern features would be greatly appreciated.

Individuals attending the event can also help build individual classroom libraries by purchasing books for teachers through the Classroom Wish List Program that is highlighted within the book fair.

The book fair will offer specially priced books and educational products, including newly released titles, award-winning titles, children’s classics, beautiful hardback books, interactive software, and book titles from more than 150 publishers.  There are products for all age ranges and many excellent gift ideas.

Everyone is invited to attend the Scholastic Book Fair as a shopper or volunteer during fair hours; the event is hosted in the school library and staffed by volunteers.  For more information, or to volunteer, contact Lisa Scott at 264-2730 or sranch@centurytel.net.

This story was posted on November 7, 2013.