Davidson County's only book store closed some years ago, and for many of our students the closest book store is many miles away in neighboring counties. For some, this is an experience that is just out of reach. The closest they get to perusing brand new books is the book fairs that come to our area elementary and middle schools.
Last spring, some of our high school media coordinators were wondering why there aren't book fairs for high schools. After some research, we unfortunately learned that for the major book fair companies, high school book fairs just aren't profitable. So as a team, we reached out to Bookmarks, a non-profit bookstore and literary foundation in Winston-Salem, to brainstorm a new concept to bring the book fair experience to those in grades 9-12. Thankfully, Jamie Southern and Ashley Bryan of Bookmarks were very receptive to the idea and were eager to help.
Well this fall, our idea came to fruition. Because this was a pilot program, we started small with 100 high-interest and award-winning young adult titles of various genres, as well as "bonus" literary themed gift items for sale. Students and staff were able to browse the merchandise and place orders for delivery after conclusion of the book fair. The inventory fit neatly in four boxes and was easily transported by car from school to school.
The Bookmarks Book Fair traveled to our 7 traditional high schools beginning the middle of October at West Davidson and concluded in early December at Ledford High School. Participating schools had the option of earning 20% profit or passing the savings on to students.
The Bookmarks Book Fair was well received by students and staff members alike. At the end of our "traveling book fair", Bookmarks generously donated all 100 titles to our high schools to share. Our high school media coordinators were overjoyed with their generosity. There was a learning curve and a few hiccups along the way, but our high school media coordinators are looking forward to future book fair opportunities.
HS library media coordinators, Brene Duggins (Oak Grove), Mary Howell (South), Kenny Foster (West), Amy Daugherty (East), and Lorie Steed (Central), are excited the book fair has arrived at West Davidson High School.
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