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PA’s Scholastic Book Fair Stokes Ravens’ Passion for Reading
A collage of photos from the Scholastic Book Fair

Clockwise from top left: Stacks of books from fifth-grade teachers’ classroom wish lists; a volunteer thank-you card created by students; Avera Acai and her first-grade students at the Book Fair

The Parents’ Association is celebrating the success of last month’s Scholastic Book Fair, which netted more than $27K in sales — well beyond their internal goal of $20K in honor of Winston Library’s 20th anniversary year — in support of the school’s two libraries.

The fair ran March 7-16, with students visiting with their classes to browse and make selections and parents and guardians invited to shop on select days during and after school. This event was particularly exciting because it was the first in-person book fair since the fall of 2019. 

The theme this year was “Making Connections Through Reading — Books Bring Us Together!” Organizers said that the theme rang true across all groups who were involved with the event — especially, of course, the Lower and Middle School students who were the fair’s primary audience.

“Perhaps it was the chalk on the sidewalk, the signs around campus or knowing parents could come, but the kids could tell this was a special event, one that some had never had the chance to experience in person,” Leigh Ann Musante, one of the event’s four co-chairs, said. “They stood in line outside the doors with anticipation and were in awe when they came into a grand atmosphere of balloons, colors, books of all shapes, sizes and subjects and, of course, the all-important trinket table. Seeing the smiles and hearing the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ was such an incredible feeling.”

“Nothing compares to seeing a class of wide-eyed kids racing through the library door… for books!” co-chair Jacque Kish said.

Families, too, responded with tremendous enthusiasm and generosity — so much so, organizers noted, that they had to bring in an additional cash register to keep the lines moving efficiently. In addition to selections for their home collections, many parents and guardians purchased books from teachers’ classroom wish lists and inscribed them with their students’ names.

The steering committee co-chairs — Musante, Kish, Devon Perry and Charlotte Perdue — also emphasized how much they valued the connections they made with one another and with other volunteers even as they worked hard to serve the broader school community.

“As we all know, to run a successful event, partnership is critical. Working with Devon, Jacque and Leigh Ann came with ease — and was downright fun,” Perdue said. “We sensed how much our school community craved an in-person event, and it was rewarding to collaborate with volunteers, faculty and staff and see it all come to fruition. We quickly learned how much our Ravens love to read. Such a joy!”

“There was no shortage of volunteers who were incredibly helpful, knowledgeable and kind,” Kish added. “I was amazed how quickly and steadily those volunteer slots filled up and even more humbled when many asked if they could volunteer again or stayed later than their time. Some of them put in some serious hours!”

“Thank you to Josefina Hanna, who made the amazing balloon arches and lent her background and props for photos; to Audrey Pacca, who came to the rescue as treasurer since we needed cash for an event; and to all the parents who wrote names on the coveted raffle tickets, found the books the kids were describing, helped them maximize their money to get the most books (the kids were so proud), checked them out and answered any questions they had!” Musante said. “The support from the Ravenscroft community was tremendous, and the Book Fair would not have been so successful or fun without it.”

Winston Library staff Emily Zeblo and Jessica Ortolano said they are grateful to the organizers, volunteers and families, whose collective generosity “will have a lasting impact, enabling librarians to purchase materials to support classroom libraries and Ravenscroft library collections. These materials will support student learning and foster a love of reading for years to come!”