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If you buy a kid a book …

Submitted by on Saturday, 6 June 2009 3 Comments

buy_booksConfession: I never bought the cookie dough – Big Guy was allergic anyway, and much of it was recalled during the Peanut Corp. of America sweep so I’m glad I didn’t buy it even as gifts.

I didn’t buy the candles the school was pushing in the fall either, despite the flyer telling us each kid should sell $40 worth of “product.” The scents make me sneeze and, besides, I already had a dozen or more unscented candles left over from my wedding reception. If anyone needs a nine-inch ivory pillar, let me know.

But I did go hog wild Wednesday night at the school’s open house and book fair, even though the book fair was all “product” from Scholastic, a company now famous in some sets for pimping out its inventory with toys, stickers and books about slutty dolls. At least Scholastic somewhat atones for its sins by returning a portion of sales to schools.

Four books for the guys and then two for teachers. Big Guy talked me into the extra teacher book. I’d agreed from the start to buy one for his main teacher, but when we looked at the bins containing the wish lists, his eyes wandered to the slot for the afternoon kindergarten teacher who’s also a heavy presence in his morning classroom.

“Can we get Mrs. J one, too?” he asked. “She’s such a good teacher, and I don’t want her to be sad if no one buys her books.”

How could I possibly say “no” to that sales pitch. The fact that he was asking for a book made his case even stronger. Two books in tow, his name carefully written on the donation stickers inside, Big Guy trotted off to present the gold to his beloved teachers.

They are gold, and just the type of donation I’m inclined to make.

I’ve always been funny that way. I’d dodge the annual United Way fund drive at work but buy a bat for a friend’s girls’ softball team. I’m fine with melting pots, but not when it comes to donations. I want to know where my money’s going, and I want to know it’s not going to a lot of administrative costs.

In this era, school donations make sense to me. Education in general is taking a hit as governments struggle to balance budgets, with libraries suffering heavy blows during the budget crisis.

So, no, I won’t buy the cookie dough or candles. But ask me to buy a book and I’ll do it every time. Sometimes twice when you only ask once.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Sandra Foyt said:

    I’m a sucker for the Scholastic Book Fair; I even chaired it at my ex-school for several years and one year we won the national contest, earning a visit from Pam Munoz Ryan. That was a very big deal for us. One program that I especially liked was One for the Books, where people donated $1 for a posted flyer. The proceeds were used to ensure that every student was able to buy books at the fair.

  • MtnMom said:

    I did buy the cookie dough, I ate the cookie dough, and I am working hard to rid my body of the fat cells filled by the cookie dough. A book would have been healthier! Several books would have been less expensive and served a much greater purpose!

    I held a couple of these book fairs and, let me tell ya, they are FUN, they help schools, the children go bonkers for books, it is win win all the way around!

    In addition to the Scholastic books we purchased for our now grown children, I have added to the collection over the years for the youngsters that visit our home from time to time. Now the books will serve my grandbaby! Then the grandbaby will grow up and have bood fairs to attend and the fun starts all over again. (I need to purchase another bookshelf just for all my kiddie books!)

    Books are timeless treasures and when you can buy a book and support education, THAT is a good thing!

  • Debra said:

    Sandra: I didn’t know about One for the Books until I googled around after you mentioned it. I’ll have to keep this in mind to suggest next year. Love, love, love the concept on so many levels!

    MtnMom: A couple years ago, my mom shipped my old Scholastic book collection here for the guys. They smelled a little at first – years in a barn will do that to a book – and they’re a little worn, but it’s still cool to see Big Guy learning to read the same books that I used to learn to read.