Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Livingston—The JKHA atrium was transformed into an exciting world of books last week as the Scholastic Book Fair paid the school its annual visit. The theme for this year’s Fair was “Under the Sea.” The space was turned into an underwater book store complete with fish and accents of blue.

The Book Fair is a great opportunity to raise money for the school, with a portion of the proceeds going to purchase new books for the library. Throughout the week, there were special programs to help promote the Fair. All week long, children brought in coins (and even dollars) for the “Change For A Change” program. Every penny, nickel and quarter collected went directly to purchasing more books for the library.

One of the biggest highlights of the week was the annual “guess the number of jelly beans” contest. The person with the closest guess would win $15 to spend at the book fair, while the two runners-up would get to select a poster. This year, there were three first place winners who each guessed 1300, the exact number of jellybeans in the jar. The students’ use of calculations and estimation was very impressive, as evidenced by the larger, and more accurate, number of winners.

There was also a Teachers’ Raffle, with the winner able to purchase up to $50 of books for the class library. The pre-K cheers could be heard across the school when their teachers were announced as the winners. Finally, there was the Grandparent Raffle, with grandparents who came into the school that week able to enter their grandchildren in a drawing allowing them to win $10 to spend at the Fair.

Another annual highlight was the visit by Clifford the Big Red Dog to the younger children’s classrooms, where he and his helpers read them a story. He also made some guest appearances as he greeted the children browsing the Fair’s collection.

This year included a special treat with visits by real dogs, along with their owners/trainers who are volunteers for The Seeing Eye in Morristown. The seeing eye dogs-in-training were brought to the school to help socialize them as part of their training.

On Wednesday evening, families of the younger children were invited to join the school librarian, Abbey Roth, for “Underwater Story and Crafts.” Children listened to stories read by the librarian, created underwater creatures, and were intrigued by the containers of orbies and hidden creatures.

Each day, children walked around the Book Fair mesmerized by the myriad choices and variety of books. Children smiled as they chose books, posters and special school supplies. Students and teachers enjoyed having the opportunity to browse the new books. The Fair seemed to inspire even the most reluctant of readers to want to read which, of course, is one of Scholastic’s goals.

The Book Fair was made possible by the love and devotion of Shira Vickar-Fox and Jill Kirsch. Their hard work and dedication produced another amazing Fair for the school. A huge thank you goes out to them as well as all of the volunteers who came to help throughout the week. It was so heartwarming to see older students, parents, grandparents and community members support JKHA.

Scholastic will match the dollars raised with a donation in JKHA’s name to a non-profit organization devoted to children’s literacy.

By Naomi Maron, JKHA LS Director of Early Education