Wanna be a Book Fairy again this year?

Okay ladies and gents it’s almost that time again. School starts back in a couple weeks. This means I’ll be gaining a new group of enthusiastic 4th graders with the mentor/literacy program I’m a volunteer for.

So here is the deal…if you are already aware of the Book Fairies program then I’ve created a LJ community bookfairies for you to check out periodically for updates and requests. I’ll also send out email updates too.

If you have no clue whatsoever what I’m talking about…here ya go:

For more backstory check out this thread

Some basic details:

I volunteer once a week for about 3 hours with a literacy/mentor type program thing here at an inner-city school in Birmingham. I work with 4th graders who read on around a 1st or 2nd grade level.

These kids are the poorest of the poor economically. I’m talking threadbare uniforms, parents not around sometimes, witnesses to stuff kids should never be witnesses to, etc. In the years I’ve been doing this I’ve had kids who were abused by their parents, molested by relatives and/or neighbors, victims of drive by shootings and many other horrors that God forbid any of our kids ever have to face daily.

They crave attention from adults. They absolutely tackle me when I walk through the door many times. In many cases they have nobody telling them they can make it or they can make something of their lives.

I work through an organization for the literacy part of the program…the rest I do on my own. The literacy part is called the MORE program (Motivators Of Reading Enrichment). Each week the kids select an approved book and read it. They then complete a book report for me on the book. They must score 70% or higher in order for it to “count” toward their score. After 5 successful reports they win a MORE T-shirt. After 10, a candy bar of their choice. After 15…the coveted Blue Ribbon. The highest reader gets to attend a luncheon with me, their teacher and their principal at the end of the year for the Award Ceremony.

The MORE program also supports an essay writing contest at the close of each school year. The kids write about what the MORE program and reading means to them. I am very pleased to say that one of my kids won last year for the entire school. She has now decided she wants to be an author or a teacher when she grows up.

The stuff I do on my own is financed by me, generous friends and family members, business contacts and last year…some truly generous Dopers.

I normally have anywhere from 20-25 kids in my class each year. Last year Dopers adopted one kid and committed to send that kid a book once a month along with a letter or trinket or postcard from where they are from, etc. It was a HUGE success. The kids went to the library and checked out books on the states where their Book Fairy lived. They used an atlas to find the states on the map. They wrote letters back and forth. It was amazing.

So I’m looking for new Book Fairies for the upcoming year. This is not something I want anybody to commit to if you don’t think you can do it. I don’t want disappointed kids if someone commits then half way through the year can’t finish. Last year, unfortunately this happened and I (and other Dopers) ended up buying books so nobody was left out. I want to try and avoid doing that this year if at all possible.

Also, if you can’t do 8 months worth of books, maybe team up with someone else? Or just send in a book whenever you can for me to add to my “extra” stash? Or maybe your area has something interesting you think the kids might like. Last year I had people sending candy, postcards, small items famous to their state/region, newspapers articles…TONS of stuff.

Basically, whatever anyone wants to do is great and wonderful with me. And, if you can’t do anything or aren’t interested, then good thoughts and such are most welcome also.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Like last year, I still can’t commit to sponsoring a single child - I’m in a job hunt, and am basically broke - I asked the parents for help with August rent (sigh).

What I do have, again, is a bunch of trade credit at a local used book store, about $25 worth. If I can make it down there, I can plan on picking a selection of books again, across a variety of areas (fiction, biography, sports, etc.). I’ll wait, though, until you get your kids for the year, because that way I can pick books that better fit their interests.

These can then be used as ‘extra’ books however they’re needed.
Next fall, though…I’d better be working so that I can be a real bookfairy.

I wasn’t a very good Book Fairy – though I sent books, I never wrote letters or anything, which I think was a big disappointment to my kid.

I’ll send down a box o’ books for you at some point to use as extras or whatever, but I wouldn’t feel right being a full-fledged fairy.

Your kid loved all the books you sent! Honest! Not everbody did letters…some did it monthly…some not at all.

I thank you for the box o’books and will put them to good use.

I would love to be a book fairy, Aries28.

Are you looking for exclusively new books? Or will used in very good condition work?

Aries28, I would love to be a book fairy! Can I make a request, though? I’d like to be a book fairy for a girl. Since I have three sons, I don’t often get to purchase “girly” trinkets and books, so I would like to have the chance to do so.
Will you be sending me the exact reading level of the child, or will it be ballpark grades? I am trained in Developmental Reading Assessment and Renaissance Learning, so I should ba able to make sense of either and choose some nice books. Having a teacher’s Scholoastic Books account will help, too, with the cost.

As for living in a “neat” place, well, Arkansas has a few small claims to infamy :wink: , but we also have lots of corny festivals. Pink Tomato, Mosquito, Watermelon, Cardboard Boat Racing, Toad Suck…
I also have a friend in the Forestry Service, who sends me neat teaching stuff…also the Egg Council, Tyson. I’ll send along any neat stuff that comes my way, since it’s no problem to get doubles.

My email is in my profile, and I’m on Yahoo IM, too. Just let me know what I need to do.


That’s it? A book a month and a little swag? Do you pick the book or do we pick the book (I’m afraid I don’t know as much as I should about reading levels)? Do you tell us anything about the particular child we’re fairy-ing, or do they? Do we send the books to you, the school, or directly to the child?

I’m definitely interested in learning more and maybe being a fairy and will also email this to my mom (who volunteers in school teaching kids to read) and my girfriend. (My mom’s not a Doper, is that ok?)

I want to be a book fairy! I love books and I love to buy them for other people. I can’t think of any reason why I can’t commit for the whole year.
What do I do now???

I missed this last year, and was hoping you’d be starting it up again for this year. Count me in!

Primarily newer books but if you think they are in very good condition then I can find a use for those also.

I’m not picky! :o)


Last year after I met my class I posted their first names, last initial (for safety reasons) and interests and I let people choose based on the kid’s interest who they wanted to sponsor. This seemed to work out great. I’ll do that again this year.

As far as reading levels go…last year none of my kids were at a 4th grade level…more like 1st and 2nd. Any kids that have special problems I’ll make sure to discuss with the Book Fairy.

I also put together gift bags for Halloween, Christmas/Kwanzaa, Valentine’s Day, Easter and the End of the Year Party. I’ll post more about it as those dates approach.

For now, I’m gathering the interest level then I’ll go from there and contact everybody via email.

Thanks for your interest.


I’ll do it. Aries28, It is not clear how we sign up. Is it enough to post here, or do we need to send you an email?

Posting here is fine for now. Once I meet my class I’ll let everybody pick which child they would like to sponsor and give you more details.

For now, I’m just seeing how many people want to commit to do it. If I can’t get enough (which I don’t see happening) then I’ll let everybody know.


Sure I can be in again. I hope you got my last package since I couldn’t find the book you wanted us to send so I just send some cash.

I’m not much of a poster, but I’d love to be a book fairy! :slight_smile:

I’d love to do it again! I had a lot of fun picking out books last year, and now that I’ve had practice, i should be better at it this year!

I’d love to be a Book Fairy. For a girl for preference.

I did get it…THANKS! I also passed around the pictures you sent and they were so pumped about it. I’m talking they loved seeing your bike. :slight_smile:

I don’t think I can support a child, but I have a lot of older books of mine I never read anymore, so could I send some of those, and write some letters? If I don’t have any books, I could always be a pen pal!

Wait til they see where I’ve been this year then. :slight_smile: