Most of today and half of yesterday I was working at my daughter's elementary school book fair. As a working mom, I have to be choosy on what I agree to volunteer for at school. I spend a few days a month helping in the school library and help out on an as needed basis in the classroom. But the book fair is the one event I cannot miss. I give up multiple days of work to help every year
First, I love to help because "selling books" is what I do. I worked with the kids on preview day helping them to create their wish lists. I use my RA skills to find their key appeal factors and then point them to the books they would most enjoy. The next day I used those same skills to convince the parents to buy books for their kids. The parents know that I know what I am doing and seek me out for help and advice. I love that I have a skill that truly helps the school earn money. The fact that it involves books is just a bonus.
But I think more than anything, I love to help at the book sale because of the memories it brings back. I can still remember the book sales at Robert Hunter Elementary. I remember the joy of walking through the library and looking at all of the brand new books on the tables. I remember touching them, holding them, and bringing my parents in to buy some for me and my sisters.
Working my daughter's sale brings all of those memories back. The best moment I had was yesterday when the Kindergarten class came in, late in the afternoon. They were the last class to come in, we were all tired from 3 hours of helping students from first through sixth grade, and everything was finally quiet. I watched their joy as they saw the sale for the very first time. I helped them write down the books they wanted on their wish lists. But I also saw them get distracted from the list writing task, and one by one, find a book, lie down on the floor with it, and start reading. The teacher was torn between her need to get them on task and her appreciation of their joy. In the end, she let them keep reading until it was time to go. It was a joy to see.
Although the last few days were very busy as I worked the sale instead of working on the book, I would not trade the experience for anything.
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