Reading. It’s my thing. However, getting some kids to read is another thing altogether. Years ago I chaired the book fairs at my kids' schools with an underlying desire to single handedly pass my passion for reading into these hundreds of children’s minds. Let’s just say it ended up being a good day if the kids remembered to bring money in to buy a book!
Thankfully, there are books that have succeeded in getting the kids’ attention due to excellent writing. Also, the advances in technology has made reading “cooler” to kids now that it comes in techno savvy packaging; Nook, Kindle, iPhone/Pad.
School District 102 in Buffalo Grove has run traditional book fairs at the individual school buildings, but also holds a Book Fair bash for all the schools at the Barnes and Noble in Lincolnshire. They don’t miss a beat. Co-chair Ivy Elkins said, “It's such a fun family event and a great way to get kids excited about summer reading! I love the way we bring teachers, authors, parents and kids all together.”
Honestly, they are pulling out all the stops. Two best-selling authors will be doing readings and signings. Young adult author Brenda Ferber, who wrote, Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire and Julia's Kitchen will be there at 10 a.m. and Rachel Bertsche, who wrote MWF Seeking BFF, will be there at 3 p.m. This book is a light-hearted and funny memoir about Rachel, who moved to Chicago and was looking to find her new Best Friend Forever by going on 52 “dates” to meet local women.
Dana Litwin is happy to co-chair this school program. She said, “The book fair is an great example of a community event that brings people together for fun activities and to celebrate reading." Amen, sister!
Exciting news for this year is that there will be two talent shows aptly called D102’s Got Talent in which kids of all ages will be performing. I truly believe that just like show choirs garnered popularity from the TV show Glee, so has talent and variety shows from the numerous reality shows that celebrate all types of acts.
Buffalo Grove mom Missy Frank is happy to have her two kids participate in the talent show. Her daughter Allison, a second-grader at Tripp Elementary School, will be doing a singing performance. While usually just a shower singer, she just finished a musical theater class and now has an opportunity to strut her stuff at Barnes and Noble. Her son Jeremy, an 11-year-old novice clarinet performer, will also play a piece for the talent show. Both her kids love to read, so this is the perfect venue for them.
Many teachers from the four schools in the district are offering their time to read books to the kids and participate in a scavenger hunt and other planned activities.
Second-grade Pritchett Elementary School teacher Nancy Connor is planning to do a story-time at the event. She said, “By reading aloud to children of all ages, you open the world of reading to them. You are also encouraging them to think about the story, react to characters and feel emotions.” Keeping this year’s book a surprise, she shared that last year she read, Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden. “It’s a story about a kindergarten teacher who gets a new package of "seeds" each school year and she tends to them as they grow.”
These teachers really get involved with this super day. Even teacher Francesca Ogilvie, currently on maternity leave, is going to come back to lead a story-time!
Finally, nobody ever wishes to see your child in an emergency vehicle of any kind, but if your child has ever really wanted a fun ride in a Buffalo Grove fire truck or in a Buffalo Grove police car, this may be his or her chance. D102 will be raffling off a ride to school in each of these vehicles. Whether the sirens are on or off, that should be one fantastic ride! Stop by June 2 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
As always, email me with any news, topics or ideas that you want to read about. Remember, I’d like to be the first to know! I can be reached at email@example.com.