(Original Post: December 1, 2020)
The financial struggle is real.
Especially when it comes to public school library funding.
Then, add a little pandemic and you have yourself a serious lack of moola for your library.
No Scholastic Book Fair = $0
No Used Book Sales = $0
Cancelled PAC events = $0
Ugh. Silver Lining…? There sure is. Let me show you!
My First Read-A-Thon
The read-a-thon was birthed from a book room request. One of my side jobs is keeping the Intermediate book room updated after being given a district grant in 2017 to overhaul the entire collection. Since then, Lady Mac and I have been diligently adding 1-2 new book sets each year.
With no extra money, I went to my staff to see what we could do to purchase a few books to complete two sets of novels for the book room. My plight was heard loud and clear by a senior staff member, who proposed a read-a-thon fundraiser. Her hope was that not only would the fundraiser fund the book room sets, and anything left over could go towards library books.
Tip: Set a Reasonable Monetary Goal
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the incomes and budgets of many of our families so we decided to set our goal at $1000. This may seem like a lot and it is. However, our calculations were based on each student raising $5.00, which was deemed possible by the admin and staff.
Tip: Recruit the Students
The most powerful part of this fundraiser was student involvement and ownership. Two intermediate divisions took on the advertising tasks which included iMovie Trailers, posters, and ballot boxes. The iMovie trailers were viewed by whole school during library blocks and were available for community viewing once uploaded to the school’s Youtube account. Posters were hung all over the school and featured reminders of dates, events, and prizes.
Brochures and reading logs were sent home with each student along with an email blasted out to all the families outlining the events.
We chatted a lot about owning the fundraising and discovering what each of us could do rather than only asking for money. Even the Kindergarteners brainstormed ideas such as raking leaves, picking up toys in playrooms, and playing with baby siblings while parents cooked dinner.
The students enjoyed watching the Money Thermometer slowly rise as donations came in via cash donations and School Cash Online Accounts. The fruit of their labour truly was a sight to behold!
The read-a-thon took on the this year's library theme, Blacklock in Wonderland. The staff came up with daily events for the Wonderland Read-A-Thon Week:
Mad Hatter Monday
Wear a hat while reading
Topsy Turvy Tuesday
Read in odd and strange places or positions
My weekly school-wide podcast of Alice in Wonderland took on theatrical "one woman show" element for this special Wednesday.
Bring a book from home to read that you are thankful for
Reading in the dark by flashlight
Classes took part in each event at some point during the day.
It was so much fun!