If you want to see joy happen right in front of your eyes, help a young child shop at the Book Fair. Their little faces when they hand over their envelope and when you give them their change and their bag with their brand new book in it - it’s pure joy to watch. Last year, I did a little one on one volunteering with a young child who had some trouble paying attention in class, and he didn’t have a lot of resources coming in from home, so I bought him a book. I sat down and read it with him and a little while later, I saw him read that same book (Good Night, Gorilla - literally has two words in the whole book so a great choice for a reluctant 1st grader who can’t really read yet) to one of his classmates and it made me want to buy a book for every kid in the world.
As my tenure chairing the book fair comes to an end this week - mercifully - I can’t say I won’t miss it a little. But just a little. My youngest are finishing 5th grade and while we will still be at the school - it’s a k-8 school - for 3 more years, after this week’s Book Fair, I’m hanging it up. Before my oldest even started Kindergarten, I found myself at a friend's kitchen table on a late August night helping with the school’s fall fundraiser. Eight years later, I’ve chaired that fundraiser and others, I’ve served on the PTO Board, I’ve helped with communications, and I’ve chaired the Book Fair. I have recruited volunteers and sent out innumerable sign-up-geniuses and solicited donations from every appropriate business partner and I.AM.DONE.
Hit me up for a donation and I am all about it. Need me to chaperone a field trip in the future? Sure thing. But when I leave the school at the end of the Book Fair on Friday, I will be handing the keys to the supply closet and the Book Fair Bible over to a younger mom, full of energy and vigor and - most importantly - younger kids.