IPS Book Fairs: Promoting Literacy and Community

Shopping at the IPS 86th Street Book Fair!

As a child, one of my favorite events of the school year was our annual book fair.  I loved going to the fair with my class, choosing my own books, and taking those treasures home to read and add to my ever-expanding home library, much of which I still have and share with my own children today.

As a teacher (and now administrator), the annual IPS Book Fair is still one of my favorite school year occasions.  I had the opportunity to attend the book fairs at both our 76th Street and 86th Street locations this year, and both featured extended shopping hours, large selections of books, helpful volunteers from the IPS parent community, and special guests!

Broadway actress N’Kenge performs as Elsa from Frozen at the 86th Street book fair.

The 86th Street book fair took place in December 2019.  To accommodate parents, the event was open to families not only on a weekday, but on a Saturday as well.  On Saturday, the attendees were treated to a visit by none other than Elsa from the movie Frozen!  Elsa, who was introduced to our school via 86th Street parent Jae Min Shin.  The children were amazed by her singing, and were even allowed to ask Elsa questions about anything that they wanted to know.  Inquiries ranged from how Sven (the reindeer) was doing, to how she uses her magic!

The 76th Street book fair took place on March 2nd and 3rd.  The theme of the book fair was “Under the Stars”; to build on that theme, children were encouraged to attend the book fair on the evening of March 2nd in their pajamas!  Lights were dimmed and parents and preschoolers alike gathered to listen to stories read aloud by favorite IPS teachers and administrators!  On March 3rd, the children were treated to a read-aloud by author/illustrator Paulette Bogan, who wrote favorite picture books such as Virgil and Owen and Bossy Flossy.  The students also observed Paulette as she recreated characters from her books on paper; Paulette also freehanded drawings of animals on request (such as a “Lion Unicorn”).  The Pre-K 2 and Pre-K 3 students at 76th Street sampled character illustration themselves by following Paulette’s verbal and visual instructions, which resulted in depictions of Virgil the Penguin!  Each penguin looked a little different, but decidedly maintained a strong resemblance to Virgil!

Author/illustrator Paulette Bogan poses with Pre-K students from 76th Street.

At both book fairs, children spent a significant amount of time poring over the books, to both acquire new information (via familiar pictures and words) and to find the book(s) that were just right for them.  For example, while I was at the 76th Street book fair, several children were looking for books on a variety of topics, from dinosaurs to outer space to Peppa Pig.  Teachers, administrators, and parent volunteers kindly swooped in to help each child select the perfect reading material to take home.

The book fairs were organized by the fabulous Parents’ Association at both IPS locations.  The parents took time to create a theme and carry it out throughout the fair.  Additionally, many parents volunteered their time not only during the children’s school day, but at night and on the weekend as well.  The weekend and nighttime events allowed for parents and children to shop, mingle, converse, and enjoy some quality time together as members of the IPS community.  Both book fairs were great successes, and we are looking forward to another great turnout in 2020-2021!

Are you a member of the IPS community, and are looking to join the Parents’ Association?  Learn more about what our PA does by clicking here.

Not a member of the IPS community, but would like to be?  Learn about how to apply to our school by clicking here.


Leave a Reply