Lake Zurich students turn loose change into bounty of new books
Thomas Rutledge (from left) helps Craig Surovitz and Jake Patton unpack a new collection of books for their Spencer Loomis classroom. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 11, 2012 10:17AM
LAKE ZURICH — Spencer Loomis Elementary School received an infusion of new books in September after its students raised an unprecedented amount of cash through the Scholastic Book Fair’s All For Books program.
“It was a one-week program,” said event co-chair Sharon Lennon, who helped facilitate the books program at the school. “It was really supposed to be a ‘change challenge.’”
Lennon explained that students collected pennies on Monday, nickels on Tuesday, dimes on Wednesday and quarters on Thursday. On Friday, many students came to school with $1 bills to donate. By the end of the week, Spencer Loomis’ 23 homeroom classes had raised more than $5,000.
“It was amazing,” said Sue Evers, co-chair of the book Fair, who also helped coordinate the local All For Books program. “It was way beyond our expectations.”
The funds collected by the students were used to purchase books for Spencer Loomis classrooms. Students were able to choose which books they wanted for their classrooms.
“It was all about what the kids wanted to read,” said Lennon.
Some of the titles purchased by the students were “The Infinity Ring,” “Dog in Charge,” and “Secret of the Fortune Wookie.”
“The teachers all said it was like Christmas,” Evers said.
Evers added that for every book purchased at the fair, Scholastic then donated one book apiece to two charities. The charities, she said, were the Kids in Need Foundation and Kids in Distressed Situations Incorporated.
“So it’s a win-win for everyone,” Evers concluded.
A competition between homeroom classes to see which group could raise the most money helped boost the end of week totals. The competition was tracked with a chart that had one football for each class.
“We moved the footballs along daily,” she said, adding that the chart provided a little extra excitement with students tracking where their classes stacked up.
Lennon also credited the many parent volunteers, who helped carry the effort.
“It’s a huge undertaking and a lot of people help out,” she said. “Parents were extremely involved.”
Evers said September’s fund-raiser was the first time that Spencer Loomis was involved in All For Books.
“It’s a fabulous program,” she said. “You never know until you try.”