One of my dreams has come true this year -- I have now been a parent volunteer at the elementary school's Scholastic book fair! And it is just as fun as I expected it to be. I love showing up early and getting a sneak-peek at what will be sold*, making my mental shopping list all the while. I love helping the kids find books they like and being able to say, "I've read this one and it's really good." I love helping them count their pennies to make sure they have enough at checkout -- I remember saving mine!
The saddest part about volunteering at the book fair is having to tell kids who come without enough money that they're not going to be able to afford the book they want. Poor darlings. Let's add this to the list of reasons I want to be rich: so I can make up the difference for kids who want to buy books at the book fair. At our spring book fair, one sweet second-grader came in with a dollar. There are two or three books that sell for $1 but they were not to her taste. (They weren't to my taste, either.) She turned down the thought of buying a pencil or bookmark from the "over-priced stuff" table, browsing the books until nearly the last second before the bell. She finally picked out a pencil or eraser or something. And, inside, my reader-heart made the sound of ultimate suffering.
But, overall, volunteering at the book fair is a joyful time! Not only do you get to help the kids and chat with your fellow volunteers, you get to see what's really hot with the kids. Another perk -- I got a $5 credit for helping out.
Our elementary school actually has 3 book fairs - a fall book fair, spring book fair, and a half-price book fair for two days only just before school lets out for the summer. Looking back, it seemed like it was an annual thing when I was in elementary school. But hey, I wasn't the best judge of time back then. And it wouldn't surprise me at all if it was up to the PTO how often book fairs happen in schools.
*This last time I saw Hidden by Helen Frost! Such a good book. My review here, Lindsay's eloquent thoughts here.