This is a quick post to address the questions raised from the book the school I am currently working in produced.
Scholastic offer a service called ‘We are Writers’. If you book a book fair into your school, you can avail of this service. So we booked a book fair and began working on out ‘We are Writers’ book. It gives your school an opportunity to publish an actual real book which is quite cool. The book retails at eight euro. The school gets 60% of all sales to spend on Scholastic resources, or 20% cash. We went for 60% of commission for resources for the school.
So essentially, our book was published by Scholastic. I approached the principal with the idea a few months ago and he gave me the go ahead. I used the publishing of the book as a means of recording the writing genres we had studied. Every child in the school wrote something for the book, a poem, story, report, recipes etc. The teachers were very busy typing them up! We also invited past pupils to write a piece for the book which was lovely.
We had a book launch in school to mark the publication of the book. We invited parents to attend, had tea, coffee and cake, and sold the book. Every single book sold which was a huge relief! The children were just amazing. They performed a song all about books versus technology, they produced beautiful art work depicting writing through the ages, and they read some of their stories aloud. They did so well! It was a magnificent celebration of the written word. It also I think, instilled a sense of pride in the children and their work.
It was quite a straight forward project to organise. The first thing you need to do is book a book fair in to your school from Scholastic. The book fair must be booked well in advance of when you want to produce the book. The Scholastic website is excellent, it tells you everything you need to do step by step. Once the book fair is booked, you will need to encourage the children to choose a piece of their written work which they want to include in the book. I had mine draft and redraft and edit theirs. Then, you need to enter all the entries into the ‘We Are Writers’ part of the Scholastic website. They send you a sample of the book, then if you are happy with it you order your book. Then you sell it, complete your cash report, send it to Scholastic and you’re done!
The minimum order is eighty books, which you would easily sell. A very important aspect of the exercise is to publicise the book launch and the sale of the book. Scholastic provide posters and loads of lovely resources to assist with this. I set up a committee in my class for the book launch. The children loved it. They were in charge of publicising the event, organising the refreshments, the art and so on. They did a great job!
All in all, it was a really worthwhile project. The children have a book with their work published in it, which they will always treasure, and the school will now be able to buy lots of books for the school. I’d highly recommend it, particularly if English is your school self-evaluation subject this year!