Outside the book fair room at Frontier Elementary School Tuesday night, an art extravaganza raged, with projects on display like dragonology masks and portraits of George Washington.
For lovers of reading, the veritable sea of books for sale offered the great promise of more books. Not only did the sale allow students and parents to find interesting reading material, but the money will help buy books for classrooms and the library.
Families gathered for a combined book fair and Family Fun Night of the Art Extravaganza and Dinner. They bought books children had spotted throughout the week, looked at art projects and ate Indian fry bread.
“It’s good for the kids’ self-esteem to have their parents come in and see the things that they’ve done,” said fourth-grade teacher Sharry Lien. “It’s good for the community to come together.”
Kristy Ulmer ate fry bread in the cafeteria with her family. “We enjoy it,” she said. “We come every year.”
Wayne Dillon carried six books that his third-grade daughter CeCe Venable chose. Selected titles included “Talent” by Zoey Dean, which is about a rich girl who wants to turn a newly arrived small-town girl into a movie star. Also, “How to Steal A Dog,” a story about a girl who lives in a car and steals a dog for reward money so her dual-job mom can scrape together rent money.
“It’s an opportunity to get her books,” said Dillon about the book fair.
Venable loves reading. “It’s like a movie only you get to see the pictures in your head.”
Books are available for all levels, from students to parents, said Principal Paula Patterson. It’s good to bring a variety of books to town, she added.
Eileen Lawson, the school librarian in charge of the book fair, said she splits the profits with teachers to buy school books.
The school also had a contest between the boys and girls to see who donated more money for book angels, which gives kids without money the opportunity to buy books. Throughout the week, students dropped change in jars by the cash register. “Even if they put a quarter in, they’re part of the process,” Lawson said.
Students raised about $100, and the gender battle ended in a virtual tie. The money helped pay for six kids from each of the 17 classrooms to spend $12 each on books.
Lawson said she wasn’t sure yet how much money last week’s book fair raised, but said she had already picked out $800 worth of books. Teachers could get $2,500.
“They get more than I do,” Lawson said, chuckling. Barbara Bakutis co-chaired the fair.