Super duper readers

Book fair aims to get students excited about reading

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It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s a Prune Hill Elementary School student dressed in a cape and mask dashing into the book fair on Monday.

Students took full advantage of what school Librarian Meghan Johnson describes as an “over the top,” idea to combine Superhero Dress Up Day with the school’s annual Scholastic book fair. To top it off, this is also the week that grandparents are invited to eat breakfast with students.

The book fair, which began on Friday, offers opportunities for Prune Hill students and families to arrive at school early or stay late, peruse the hundreds of books on display, and buy a few of their favorites to take home. Many children purchase books with money they have saved themselves.

“The benefit is it gets books in kids’ hands,” Johnson said. “I have a really cute picture of one little boy who came in with his piggy bank.”

Seven-year-old Sean Emberlin and his Grandpa Bill Emberlin were intently scanning the selections to find the perfect book.

With shelves of books running throughout the library the choices seemed endless. Among the titles were “Greatest Homework Excuse Book Ever,” “Eight Winter Nights,” “Ellie McDoodle: New Kid In School,” “How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?” and “Pink Princess Rules the School.”

Dressed in her own superhero costume, Johnson said on the first day of the fair a total of $3,500 worth of books were sold.

“It’s really exciting,” she said.

A portion of the proceeds goes to support the school library and classroom libraries. Some of the monies will also be used to bring a guest author to talk to students early next year.

In conjunction with the fair, “special heroes” have been stopping by to read to students. Camas firefighters served as story time readers on Monday and today, and scheduled for later this week are Camas School District Superintendent Mike Nerland, Camas Police Department School Resource Officer Debrah Farland, military fighter pilots and members of the Camas High School varsity football team — including quarterback Logan Grindy.

Pat Bynon, a book fair field representative for Scholastic, said she was impressed with the effort put into making the Prune Hill fair unique and interesting.

“Doing this kind of stuff really gets kids excited about reading,” she said, surveying the bustling library. “It’s so cool when you get this type of involvement. It keeps kids reading, and that is what we are really hoping for.”