Spring 2019 National Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the spring national elementary school contest!

First Place

The first-place winner will receive 2,000 Scholastic Dollars and a personal visit from author Gordon Korman.

Southeast Elementary School
Sycamore, IL
Chairperson: Michele Whisenhunt (Region 15)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

This year’s Dino-Mite Book Fair at Southeast Elementary School shook the ground and came roaring in to capture first place in the Spring 2019 National Elementary School Contest, winning 2,000 Scholastic Dollars and a personal visit from author Gordon Korman!

Students, faculty, and guests stepped back in time where dinosaurs of every kind lurked behind jungles of floor-to-ceiling handmade trees, erupting volcanoes, and a whole entire hallway of dinos thanks to a volunteer team of Junior Crew members, parents, and more than 50 university student athletes. As the week began, teachers donned party hats at their Book Fair Preview and students stomped in to create a Book Fair Rally Video, which was shared across classrooms and social media, turning up the heat when classrooms competed in the schoolwide All for Books change war, raising $1667!

Even more activities and contests ran amok – as well as a person wearing a T-Rex mascot for photo ops – keeping the entire school energized for the Book Fair. From decorating contests and book trailer video contests to reading contests and more, the entire school had a chance to share their knowledge of dinosaurs and their excitement for reading.

But the biggest bang came when the school hosted not one but three family events for guests of all ages. The first event, a Family Event with games, crafts, and prehistoric materials, included a special visit from the Burpee Museum of Natural History of Rockford. The second, a Grand Event with bite-sized breakfast treats and a mouth-watering photo op – a life-sized mouth of a hungry dinosaur! And for their third event, the Junior Crew and Book Fair volunteers held a Young Authors night, featuring original readings by student authors, as well as a local STEM author, games, crafts, and of course, shopping at the Book Fair!

It goes without saying that Southeast Elementary School had their biggest and most successful Book Fair to date, which is why they are this year’s Spring 2019 National Elementary Contest First-Place Winner. That’s something to stomp and roar about!    

Second Place

Four second-place winners will each receive 1,000 Scholastic Dollars.

Shelter Rock Elementary School
Manhasset, NY
Chairperson: Renee DiGirolomo (Region 14)
Theme: Enchanted Forest

Magic happened at every corner at the Shelter Rock Elementary School’s Enchanted Forest Book Fair!  And though the numbers all around were impressive to say the least, it’s the love of books and reading that topped the charts.

From 1,600 pre-Fair book gift certificates distributed, hundreds of flyers to 11 preschools and 725 students, 12 weekly emails, three giant outdoor banners, and posters galore, this Book Fair was hard to miss. And don’t forget the life-sized forest trees!

As Book Fair shoppers and event guests entered the media center, it was clear that there was no place like “gnome” as magical creatures of all kinds, including garden gnomes, unicorns, and dragons floated above the Fair and twinkled in lights. Life-sized deer and four dragons with giant illuminated tails created an ethereal effect, and the centerpiece – a cascading waterfall backdrop – served as a photo op.

Guests of all ages from preschool to grandparents dressed in costume for multiple events, including an author presentation and book signing. Even the principal and vice principal got into the fiery spirit! The Family Event alone was one for the books, welcoming a record number of guests and shoppers to the Book Fair and getting everyone excited with an All for Books wishing well, lollipop pull, dragon toss, and more.

The Book Fair at Shelter Rock may have been enchanted, but the hard work of volunteers, faculty, and their chairperson undoubtedly helped make this a huge success. 


Our Lady of Fatima School
Lafayette, LA
Chairperson: Erin Soignier (Region 4)
Theme: Scholastic Park: A Dino-Mite Book Fair

It was a stomping good time at the Scholastic Park Dino-Mite Book Fair at Our Lady of Fatima School! Giant dinosaur footprints led the way past swooping pterodactyls to a Book Fair of gargantuan proportions in the school’s library. As shoppers entered the park’s gates, they stepped back in time to a prehistoric theme park based on the popular movie Jurassic Park with swinging green paper vines, an erupting volcano, inflatable dinos, and a toothy velociraptor hungry for books!

To build extra excitement, faculty took turns dressing up in inflatable T-rex costumes and surprising students at lunch, causing screams of delight and a ton of anticipation for the Book Fair. Additionally, save-the-date advertisements were shared across social media, in the school newsletter, and flyers sent home.

Students attended a preview to watch the Author Videos and learn Book Fair shopping etiquette while teachers enjoyed their own Teacher Preview, complete with a Prehistoric Teacher baby photo contest and prizes of “fossil fuel” aka gas cards! They completed their Wish Lists and chomped on dinosaur-themed treats.

To top it all off, the Book Fair team at Our Lady Fatima School hosted multiple contests, dress-up days and events, including a prehistoric dress-up day, a dinosaur-tail Principal Challenge, a Family Night, and Dino-Mite Dads reading event. By the end of the week, their Book Fair made $26,000 in sales thanks to the help of more than 80 volunteers. It was by far a dynamite, Dino-mite Book Fair!


Verne A. Duncan Elementary School
Happy Valley, OR
Chairperson: Tammy Belafsky (Region 8)
Theme: Duncan’s Dino-Mite Birthday Book Fair

It’s their party and they’ll shop if they want to! For Verne A. Duncan Elementary’s spring Book Fair, the volunteer team decided to combine the Dino-Mite theme with the school’s 10th birthday, creating a giant prehistoric party celebrating reading!

Planning started in early January for an all-school art show, spirit week with daily dress-up days, multiple family events for moms, dads, grandparents, and special friends, and the grand finale, their Celebration of Learning Night. And when it comes to decorations, Verne A. Duncan showed their stuff! Hand-drawn dinosaurs painted with bright colors welcomed students into the library while doors of every classroom, decorated by the students for the annual door decorating contest, filled the entire school with messages of reading, books, dinosaurs, and more.

Teachers enjoyed a Staff Sneak Peek Birthday Party preview event where they enjoyed dinosaur-themed snacks and filling out their wish lists. And in traditional Verne A. Duncan fashion, they collected donations and purchased more than 100 books through their All for Books program, generously giving the gifts instead of receiving them to a local children’s hospital.

With 100% participation in the Book Fair from students and staff, the unforgettable festivities were hard to beat!  


Joseph Henry Elementary School
Galway, NY
Chairperson: Emma Obern (Region 14)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

The Book Fair at Joseph Henry Elementary School was a giant success – literally and figuratively! Despite having to deal with construction, a location change, and a smaller student population, they still managed to have one of their best Book Fairs yet!

It all started with plastering advertising anywhere and everywhere, including social media, school and district emails, letters home, flyers, posters, and even community websites. They also shared the Author Videos on the morning news, scheduled student previews, and shared a countdown outside the library. There was no escaping the news that the Book Fair was coming!

In addition to advertising, there were contests and quizzes leading up to Book Fair week, including “What’s your favorite book?” The committee consolidated all the responses and shared a list of the most popular favorite books with everyone in the school. Then, everyone was entered into a week-long drawing to win Book Fair gift certificates. In total, almost 540 children received a free book!

When the week finally came, the excitement was HUGE. Students could hardly contain the excitement, as well as the giant dino-sized games played at all the events. From giant Jenga to 42-inch inflatable bowling pins, the Family Night and Saturday morning events were a blast! Students and families enjoyed all kinds of fossilized fun, from a scavenger hunt, photo op, lollipop pull, dinosaur-shadow matching games, and even a Living Museum hosted by the fifth graders. With almost $720 raised for All for Books and their highest grossing Book Fair in years, Joseph Henry Elementary School didn’t let a few bumps get in their way of more books!

President's Award for Exceptional Performance
12 schools won a President’s Award for Exceptional Performance in various categories. These schools will each receive 500 Scholastic Dollars.

President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Advertising)
Union Academy Charter School
Monroe, NC
Chairperson: Michelle Green (Region 4)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

At Union Academy Charter School, the word got out and the shoppers rolled in! The Book Fair planning committee’s stellar advertising strategy made sure that everyone knew the Dino-Mite Book Fair was coming – and that it was not to be missed. It all began with a couple dinosaur decorations to tease the theme in early March, followed by posters around the school, a giant countdown banner outside, bookmarks home to the students, and bulletins throughout the school.

A few weeks before the official week, students watched the Author Videos in their classrooms, faculty sent emails home to parents, and all students had the chance to participate in the Book Fair scavenger hunt. Details about the Dino-Mite Book Fair saturated their social media accounts, and the outside marquee scrolled the dates continually. By the time the pretty, prehistoric decorations filled the halls, so did the anticipation.  It was no secret that the Book Fair had arrived and no secret why Union Academy Charter School won the President’s Award for Exceptional Performance in Advertising!


President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (All for Books™):
Castle Heights Elementary School
Los Angeles, CA
Chairpeople: Roz Gallet, Cindy Ambers (Region 10)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

The spring 2019 All for Books program at Castle Heights Elementary School helped their school library reach new heights! Thanks to the generosity and 100% participation of their school community, in a mere six days, they raised more than $2,886, allowing their librarian to purchase dozens of books to stock the shelves of their school library. The papier mâché dinosaur heads surrounded the Book Fair as the donations rolled in, there was no denying that this was an All for Books program of epic proportions, their most successful one yet!


President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Decorations):
Tyler Run Elementary School
Powell, OH
Chairpeople: Angela Flynn, Shalela Parulkar, Christy Last (Region 15)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

What’s better than a six-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus Rex? The skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Decorations for Tyler Run Elementary School’s Dino-Mite Book Fair were larger-than-life and it sure caused a stomping good time! The countdown sign, a baby dinosaur hatching out of an egg, caught everyone’s attention and built excitement as the days counted down and the decorations took shape.

But the most exciting transformation happened overnight when eight volunteers spent a total of 40 hours taking the hallway back into prehistoric times as they created a jungle filled with hand-painted dinosaurs in vibrant colors, jewel-green hanging paper vines, and hundreds of leaves. To top it all off, a second dinosaur fossil of a Pteranodon kept a watchful eye of the Book Fair and its shoppers. No bones about it, the decorations didn’t just take the Tyler Run Book Fair to a different time period, they took it to a whole other level!


President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Family Event): 
Sycamore Creek Elementary School
Pickerington, OH
Chairperson: Lynn Trotch
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

For Sycamore Creek Elementary School’s Dino-Mite Book Fair Family Event, they decided to go big … or go bigger! And go bigger is exactly what they did. From food trucks and an art show to dinosaur crafts and activities up the wazoo, families were chomping away at their Book Fair’s Family Event. It even had a mini-putt putt golf course designed by second, third, and fourth graders that was

based on the book Twice as Good! The Girl Scouts, local library, and high school students ran STEM activities, including a make-your-own-volcano station, a 3-D printing station, and a make-your-own-dinosaur table using noodles and marshmallows. It was an edible, incredible night capped off with shopping at the Book Fair, resulting in the most sales all week!


President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Grand Event):
Okawville Elementary School
Okawville, IL
Chairpeople: Sara Schwab, Sarah Collins (Region 15)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

Students and their special guests had a grand ole time at the Okawville Elementary School Grand Event – it was the school’s first and it was a ginormous success! More than 100 Grands joined their beloved students for reading time, a chance to interview each other, and shopping at the Book Fair, of course! Guests rotated through six different dinosaur-themed stations, keeping the event full of lively activity and conversation. With rave reviews and an instant success, this is sure to be the first Grand Event of many for Okawville Elementary School!


President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Junior Crew):
Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic School
Southwest Ranches, FL
Chairpeople: Sandy Garcia, Silvia Ziccardi (Region 4)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

The parent volunteers at Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic School may have chomped off more than they could chew when it came to planning their Dino-Mite Book Fair but in the best way possible! After all, thanks to their Junior Crew of 48 students, they knew they could handle a T-Rex-sized plate of tasks. The Junior Crew not only held their own when it came to decorating the hallway mural, their matching safari outfits, and the Book Fair itself, but they also assisted other students throughout the entire week by acting as shopping assistants, baggers, and restocking cases. They wrapped thank-you gifts for the parent volunteers and in return for their hard work, enjoyed donuts and Book Fair certificates.

The Junior Crew even had a contest among themselves determining who could design the best advertising flyer for the author visit with Christina Diaz Gonzalez. Junior Crew member Emma Pierce won the contest and not only was her flyer used for the advertisement, she got her picture taken with Christina! A dynamite group of students for sure, and one that they all should be proud of.


President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Principal & Faculty Involvement): 
Cathedral Carmel School
Lafayette, LA
Chairperson: Jan Johnson (Region 4)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

There’s almost nothing a school principal or faculty member won’t do to get students excited about reading, and the two principals and two priests at Cathedral Carmel School did just that! As part of their efforts to encourage students to read, all four faculty members agreed to let students throw water balloons at them if, and only if, the Book Fair sold more books than the previous year. So when the numbers came in higher than ever, the water balloons came out! In addition to this watery rumpus, multiple teachers read popular books from the Book Fair each morning before and during class to highlight books, no doubt contributing to the highest sales yet! 


President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Reading Activities): 
Eagle Glen Elementary School
Raymore, MO
Chairperson: Heather Poland (Region 8)
Theme: Reader-o-saurus

One of Eagle Glen Elementary School’s goals for their spring 2019 Book Fair was to increase the love of reading in their students and school. And thanks to two creative reading activities and challenges, they did just that! The first activity began with teachers and was called We Got Booked. It went like this: One teacher chose a grade-level-appropriate book from the Book Fair and left it on a teacher’s door. The teacher who received it then had to read it to his or her class. After it was read, the teacher could then choose to pass the book along or purchase a new one from the Book Fair and repeat the surprise. The students loved getting “booked” as much as the faculty!

The second challenge, a student reading activity, used five letters and lots of fun – BINGO! Students were provided a Dr. Seuss Reading Challenge BINGO sheet to go along with Dr. Seuss month, and included hilarious ways and places to read, like the bathtub! After students completed BINGO, they got their names on the Wall of Fame for everyone to see. Two great ways to show millions of ways to enjoy reading – a win, win!


President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Social Media):
Anna Reynolds Elementary School
Newington, CT
Chairperson: Joanna Cistulli (Region 14)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

Not only did the Book Fair committee at Anna Reynolds Elementary School use social media to let everyone know the Book Fair was coming, they used it to share the highlights, the spotlights, and everything in between! From posting countdowns and decoration teasers, to featuring all the shoppers, events, activities, and Online Fair, their Dino-Mite Book Fair showcased the best and brightest moments of the entire week, drumming up excitement and engagement from the entire community. They took social to a giant-lizard level!


President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Student Engagement): 
Powers-Ginsburg Elementary School
Fresno, CA
Chairperson: Nicole Potter (Region 10)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

Between the Junior Crew, the student poster decorating contest, and a daily book talk classroom contest, students at Powers-Ginsburg Elementary School were all in for their Dino-Mite Book Fair. Consisting of mostly upper-school students, the Junior Crew also helped younger shoppers during Book Fair week, and even dressed up as favorite book characters. Students enjoyed participating in dress-up days each day of the Book Fair and overall, really dug their Fair!


President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Video):
J.L. Boren Elementary School
Mansfield, TX
Chairperson: Stacy Adjei (Region10)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

When a T-Rex went wild at J.L. Boren Elementary School, it was bound to cause a scene – and excitement for their Dino-Mite Book Fair! Utilizing upbeat music, an inflatable T-Rex costume, and staff and students, the Book Fair committee produced a hilarious video to promote their upcoming Book Fair. Shared across social media, in emails, and in classrooms, the video not only advertised the Fair, it also was an opportunity to highlight one of the books on the Fair, How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?, as well as teach a lesson about the importance of books. The video created a lot of buzz and tons of energy about the Fair, and to keep it going, the inflatable T-Rex from the video made surprise appearances throughout the school in the days leading up to the Book Fair, even wearing a sign during car line!  


President’s Award for Exceptional Performance (Volunteers):
Hoover Elementary School
Council Bluffs, IA
Chairpeople: Beverly Dickinson and Kelly Jones (Region 8)
Theme: Dino-Mite Book Fair

For Hoover Elementary School, 68 volunteers answered the call when the school sent out sign-up sheets, Facebook requests, letters, and phone calls to help pull off their dynamic Dino-Mite Book Fair. From retired teachers and their friends, to Grands from previous events and fifth grade students, there was no limit for these volunteers for the spring 2019 Book Fair!