Through the generosity (and curiosity) of students, staff, and community members, more than $10,450 in books and book-related items were purchased last month during the Spring Scholastic Book Fair. Our elementary library gets a percent of sales in both cash and “Scholastic dollars” to buy books.
In addition, our elementary students had fun participating in Spirit Week and raising money for a non-profit organization through the annual “Coin Challenge.” Students brought in $1,797.28 to buy books for US Together, a national nonprofit with an office in Toledo that provides services to refugees to help them settle here in America.
Book Fair week (held January 28-Februray 1 this year) is always a busy and exciting week for students. Not only do we spend the week celebrating and enriching literacy in our community, but we also help to enrich our library’s collection of books. This year’s fair was interrupted by two snow days, which included the loss of our traditional Family Night. But our community came together to volunteer and shop during an extended day February 1. With everyone’s help and flexibility, we managed to fit all classrooms into our Friday schedule, and parents had the opportunity to shop after work.
For Spirit Week (which coincides with the Book Fair), students were encouraged to dress up all week according to a daily theme, such as “Pajama Day” or “Clash Day.” Spirit Week also is a competition between classes; the class with the highest participation in each of the dress-up days wins a prize. This year, there was great participation among all classes, but the winning class had 95 percent participation. And that class was … the third-grade classroom of Emily Atherine. In fact, most of her students dressed up every single day! Many classes had participation rates above 70 percent, including those of Christine Dever (second grade, with 79 percent), Judy Haudan (fourth grade, with 72 percent), and Courtney Gibson (kindergarten, with 71 percent).
The Book Fair also includes an annual fundraiser, known as the “Coin Challenge.” Students are encouraged to bring in different denominations each day – and dollars on Friday. All money raised is used to buy books for an organization or school in need of books for children. This year, the recipient organization was US Together, which provides services to refugees to help them settle in Toledo and several other Ohio cities. Children served by US Together benefit from the English-language books by helping them learn English and become successful in this country.
This year’s students and families definitely answered the call. Several classes raised more than $100 each, including those of Melissa Jankowski (kindergarten - $123.31); Kristin Prevette (second grade - $121.81), Judy Haudan (fourth grade - $111.36), Emily Atherine (third grade - $110.56), and Amy Wolff (third grade - $107.82). The top-three fundraising classrooms were:
- Third place: Angela Parker (fifth grade) with $151.10
- Second place: Holly Morgan (fourth grade) with $191.33
- First place: Grainne Kulka (fourth grade) with a record-breaking $256.31.
All together, our elementary students raised $1,797.28! Ottawa Hills Elementary School, you are INCREDIBLE!
Our fall and spring Book Fairs would not be possible without volunteer help. The Ottawa Hills Schools Parent Association (OHSPA) plays a critical role in all of our programming; we are so grateful for the volunteer help as well as the funding that it provides. A HUGE thank you goes to Sally McQueen, our chairwoman of the Book Fair. Mrs. McQueen spent countless hours planning and organizing behind the scenes, and helping at the fair each day. Thanks also goes out to dozens of other parents, staff members, and students who volunteered in setting up, tearing down, in sales, in bringing in treats for Family Night, and for selling books throughout the week. These volunteers include Sue Ann Peete, Kori Kawczynski, Kevin Merrill, Julio Rodriguez, Don Monroe, Ron Morehouse, Megan Meinerding, Kelly Schaefer, Isabel Ferreira, Gina Rymer, Amie Barone, Donna Davies, Jen Wagoner, Melissa Burns, Nasiba Mian, Noor Habbal, Jeni Carter, Nadia Elwardany, Danielle Vogelpohl, Meredith Douglas, Lori Tomblin, Katie Timmers, Lauren McCaffery, Jana Kammeyer, Aya Khalil, Fath Choi, Gina Martinez, Kristen Tucker, Elle Cotterman, Erica Kelm, Faiza Fakhar, Alison Krieger, Jennifer Jones, Jennifer Kapadia, Amy Riese, Amy Flanigan, Jessica Smith, Carrie Connelly, Alex Mian, Ra’eed Bhuiyan, Ella McQueen, Audrey Lenavitt, Elsa Gehling, Lucy Wagoner, Hugh Wagoner, Fitz Wagoner, Oliver Duenas-McClain, Gabriella Tomblin, Autumn Tomblin, and Piper Meinerding.
It takes a village to do many things, but it takes OUR village to make the Book Fair the success it is year after year! Thank you to the Ottawa Hills Schools Parent Association and our community for all of your hard work and support!