Wednesday, November 5, 2014

St. Timothy's Storyland Adventures 2014 Book Fair

Last year St. Timothy's Lutheran School won first place in the nation in the Scholastic Book Fair competition.

Well this year's Book Fair is under way and it is even more amazing than last year.  All are invited to attend tomorrow evening's Family Event which is open to the public!  This will be a book fair celebration like no other with astounding and HILARIOUSLY entertaining visits from the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and Tinkerbell.

There will be Alice in Wonderland "drink me" beverages and other "Storybook Snacks" from the Bibbiti Bobbidi Boo Cafe, prizes, activities and of course... BOOKS!
If you are unable to attend this event which runs from 5:30 to 7:30PM on Thursday, 11/6 at St. Timothy's Lutheran School (5100 Camden Ave., San Jose, CA 95124), you might consider joining them on Friday, 11/7 from 9AM - 12 noon to enjoy Grandparent's Day at St. Timothy's.
Grandparents fly in from all around the country to attend this event and see the incredible bookfair which has become a centerpiece of the Grandparent's Day annual tradition.  You will witness grandparents snuggled with their grandchildren while they read stories to one another.  It is a beautiful thing to behold.
Either event is a wonderful opportunity to shine a light on the joy of reading, how printed books continue to thrive in our digital age, the lengths educators will go to reach their students and how this tiny Preschool - 5th grade school of 123 students has and continues to shine over every single other school in the nation with its Scholastic Book Fair productions!

Through the Scholastic "All for Books" program, St. Timothy's has adopted a local school, Painter Elementary in the Alum Rock District. All proceeds go towards new books for their very modest library.

Additionally, St. Tim's held its first annual movie night to kick-off the bookfair on Sunday, 11/2.  Families donated new books to the "Toys for Tots" program as their price of admission.

Giving back to the community has always been a central aspect of the St.Timothy's Book Fair.

St. Timothy's invites you to visit their Book Fair Extravaganza before it closes on Friday, 11/7 at 12 noon so you can experience the magic for yourself.


The First-Place Winner and recipient of a visit from best-selling author Lauren Tarshis plus 2,000 Scholastic Dollars™ is:

St. Timothy’s Lutheran School
Book Fair Chairperson: Christine Hindenes
San Jose, CA
Theme: Every Book is a Treasure

St. Timothy's Lutheran School
Students at St. Timothy’s Lutheran School believe their Scholastic Book Fair should be a “national holiday.” That’s how much excitement gets generated about reading and books! Decorating begins in the summer months and doesn’t stop until the Book Fair begins in late October. Everyone at this school of 115 students volunteers in one way or another – from students creating theme-related art projects, to parents helping on weekends, to teachers, school staff and the principal.

The main hall of the building was transferred into a Pirates Adventure, including a pirate ship, with dock, crow’s nest, parrots, and a full sail. The scene was embellished with pirates, piles of gold coins, an oasis with palm tree, and a treasure chest guarded by a very large crocodile. Fifth grade students dressed as pirates for the Family Event and sang a song orchestrated by the school’s music teacher.

The school’s principal got involved by dressing as a pirate and promoting the Book Fair on a video run one month before the Fair. She appeared at the pre-Fair assembly in her outfit and introduced “Cap’n Book” who gave booktalks and talked about the importance of reading. More videos were made and shared of students booktalking, and telling personal stories about why reading was important to them.

Other special events were a Book Bucks Fun Run sponsored by the P.E. teacher. It began two months before the Fair and students ran laps to earn bucks to spend at the Book Fair. Many students donated their earned buck to All for Books™. The school’s Grand Event caps the week and is a big annual tradition at the school. Congratulations to St. Timothy’s Lutheran School students, staff, and parents for making their Book Fair such a great event!

St. Timothy Lutheran School Wins 1st Place In 2013 National Scholastic Book Fair Competition

Editor’s Note: This month we’re kicking off a new series about Book Fair Superstars. If you think you have Book Fair superpowers, share your story with your consultant, and you could be a future Superstar!
Success is in the Numbers:
  • Fair proceeds jumped from $8,749 in fall 2012 to $12,957.
  • The school has 116 students.
  • Sales averaged 20 books per student.
  • The school collected $727 in All for Books® proceeds.
  • The school has placed second two years in a row in the Scholastic Book Fairs® National Elementary School Contest and place third three years ago.

If librarian and Book Fair chairperson Chris Hindenes were an energy drink, she could power a locomotive. Instead she powered a crew of pirates.

For 13 years, Chris has been the driving force behind her San Jose, Calif., school’s Fairs, which her students describe as “life-changing” and “amazing.” When the fall 2009 theme was Destination Book Fair: Read Around the World, Chris morphed into an Egyptian theme, so she couldn’t possibly repeat the Egyptian theme when Reading Oasis came around. But she could borrow on the decorations as a launching point – for a pirate theme.

This, of course, required a pirate ship with a hand-sewn sail (courtesy of the janitor) in the church hall. At the Teacher Preview, teachers filled out wish lists and put stars on books they recommended parents buy for their children. Children also attended a preview at which they also completed their wish lists.

Church members were able to shop at the Fair after service Sunday. The next day, students and parents attended an assembly featuring a pirate (on the ship, of course) who taught kids how to speak pirate language. “He’s a wonderful man who ministers to children, and he’s a fabulous actor. He read stories to the kids. They asked him questions, and he talked about the importance of reading even in 1700s,” Chris says. “All the kids got an eye patch, and a mom took pictures of every child and put on website.”

To set the tone for the Fair, Chris persuaded Principal Gayle Renken to dress up like a pirate for a video in which she told students about the “treasure of books” they would find at the Fair, threatening them not to miss it or “they be walking the plank.” The video played on a loop on laptops set up outside the Fair.

True to tradition, the fifth-grade class hosted the Fair, working under music teacher Noree Williams to provide entertainment in full costume for the Family Night on Wednesday, when Gayle again donned her pirate suit as parents shopped and dined at the Black Lagoon CafĂ©. Shoppers were also greeted by parent and longstanding Book Fair supporter and church member Wayne Peterson, aka Cap’n Blackbeard. Chairpeople throughout the area typically attend the school’s Family Night events after having attended an annual workshop at the school.

At the workshop this year, Chris was inspired to create a video featuring fifth-graders who shared what St. Timothy Book Fairs mean to them. “It should be a holiday,” one boy says of the Fairs. “When you open one of the books, your mind just explodes.” Adds another, “Without the Book Fair, our school would be completely different.” A once-struggling reader shares: “The Book Fair encouraged me to start reading because I had trouble reading.”

Fifth-graders also wrote stories made into books about life as a pirate, and every year each classroom throughout the school begins the year by working on class art projects that will be displayed at the Fair. “They put so much love into those projects,” Chris says. Some students also created treasure maps that teachers used to emphasize the importance of reading.

Grandparents flew in from across the country for the end-of-the-week Grand Event, which included breakfast and lunch. “Some kids don’t have grandparents or their grandparents couldn’t get here, so our church members act as surrogates,” Chris explains.

For Chris, Book Fair planning begins in summer. She promotes by sending home flyers, through a school intranet site, and using the school website. When students return in the fall, they try to guess how many pages are in the huge stack of books in the library for a chance to win candy. Even the physical education teacher gets involved by distributing Bucks for Books for students who complete a certain number of laps.

“We get so involved with books and reading and reaching out to the kids,” Chris says. “Book Fairs are huge in our lives.”