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Gulf Middle students earn second place in Scholastic Book Fairs contest

By Staff | Feb 18, 2010

Students at Gulf Middle School recently earned second place in the Scholastic Book Fairs’ National Middle School Contest.
For the last two years the school came in first place in the national contest and was visited by Jeff Kinney, author of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” and American Idol finalist Lisa Tucker. It was also provided with $2,000 worth of books and merchandise from Scholastic Book Fairs.
Although the school won’t be visited by author Suzanne Collins — Sammy McClure Middle School in Georgia won first place — Gulf Middle will receive a $1,000 gift certificate to Scholastic products. Kathy Adams, media specialist, said the school uses their prize money to fund their “One Book, One School” program.
“Everybody in the school gets the book and we all read it at the same time,” said Adams.
She explained that Gulf Middle’s book sales were higher than ever, even though the economy has tightened budgets throughout the region. As part of the contest, the school’s student crew designed a mystery-based book fair named “The Cat Bookler and the Mystery of the Missing Mysteries.”
Students organizing the fair decided to incorporate Web 2.0 technology to promote their event. They created a Web site, www.catbookler.weebly.com, and used free online tools to create a virtual book shelf, promotional videos, a book blog and animated creatures. People from all over the world visited and commented on the site, she said.
The fair’s main character was Thomas Selkirk, Esq., said Adams, and the book fair was his store named “Bejeweled.” Each student who purchased a book at the fair was also given a jewel to enter into a drawing for a $100 Scholastic shopping spree.
“The kids came to the book fair but it was a bookstore that we portrayed through all of these different tools,” said Adams.
Gulf Middle students also collected loose change for the “One for Books” program and they used the money to start a butterfly book garden at the school.
Adams said the school will continue entering the semi-annual competition designed to motivate children to read.
“Besides promoting volunteerism and teamwork, Scholastic’s middle school book fairs help older students reconnect with books at a time when many might otherwise close the door on reading,” said Scholastic Book Fairs Executive Director Bobby Pacheco in a statement from Scholastic. “The fairs are popular with students and faculties across the country.”