The night before school started, a friend (who is not in education), messaged me on Facebook. He wanted to share a great idea with me: Scholastic Sponsors for the classroom. He passed along a letter that he’d seen floating around, and wanted to know if it was something that interested me.
I read the letter, and not having anything to lose, I posted my own version to my friends and family on Facebook. Here is what I wrote:
I put the post “out there” and then went to bed with the normal night-before-school jitters. When I woke up, I had many friends and family members who had commented and asked to be a sponsor. By the time school got out, and I had a chance to look at my phone again, I had enough sponsors for every kid in my class– and then some! In less than 24 hours, I had gotten my entire class sponsored.
People I hadn’t spoken to in years asked to help. People were moved because they had fond memories of poring over the catalogs, selecting their books. People remembered their kids coming home with Scholastic catalogs and not being able to get them a book every time. People just wanted to support literacy in my classroom.
I ended up with 30 or so sponsors for the year. I realized it was nice to have a “reserve” in case a new student moved in, and I was able to purchase an extra book or two for the classroom library each month. I got an extra book per kid before winter break, and I was able to buy an extra book to send home with each kid on the last day of school. My students left 4th grade with 11 books on their home bookshelves. Every. Single. Student.
Each month, we took a photo with our books and I posted them, thanking our sponsors. It truly made #bookboxday a special one.
This idea has changed my classroom and I will continue to look for sponsors every school year. I hope you will try it, too!
How? Post a letter on social media asking for sponsors. FOR A FREE TEMPLATE, check out my TPT store! CLICK HERE for the Free Template!
Who? I sent the letter out on my personal Facebook page. I asked MY friends and family to donate, not student families. Do what works for you, though.
When? I did a book each month from Sept-May (June is too hectic for me, personally, to deal with a book order!). If you have multiple classes, or want to start small, you could do every other month, or twice a year for that matter!
How does payment work? I asked for checks made payable to Scholastic Book Clubs and sent them in with my first book order of the year. They then put a credit on my account, which I would draw from each month.
I did have a few people pay me via Venmo/Paypal. In that case, I sent the money to my checking account and wrote out a check to Scholastic for the total amount.
How do I select the books? Scholastic has $1 books each month, in the fliers. I also checked for the weekly dollar deals and in other catalogs on the website that they did not send me. The first month, every child got the same book. After that, I gave students a choice between 2-4 books that were $1.
Admin? PLEASE ask for admin permission if you feel the need to do so!
Photos of kids: Please be aware of FERPA laws if you choose to send photos of your students and their books to sponsors. You will need parent permission.