Dallas book fair a success

First Posted: 12/5/2014

DALLAS TWP. — Sixth-grader Amber Kocher loves books. The inaugural book fair at the Dallas Middle School provided her an opportunity to review the latest titles, purchase a few of her favorites and even buy a book as a Christmas gift for her brother.

“I think that reading helps you get better grades and increases your vocabulary, said Kocher. “And, non-fiction helps you learn about specific events and people.”

Kocher’s love for books and reading was seemingly shared by her fellow students. As sixth, seventh and eighth- graders made their way into the library, all were smiling and most were headed to find a favorite book.

Sommer Zier-Norris, a sixth-grade students, especially loves books based on sports and the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series.

Zier-Norris, who would like to someday major in sports management, said often people assume girls don’t like books about sports, but they do.

“I especially read books about volleyball, baseball and softball and the people who play them,” she said.

For fans of a specific team, posters were available – perfect for the walls of a young person enjoying the competition of the football season.

Sixth-grade teacher Adam Niebauer said students were enthusiastic about attending the event. He said the teaching staff encourages students to read printed books, rather than using totally electronic versions.

“There’s something about holding a book and turning pages that is really important,” he said. “Often making their way through a paper cop,y a book helps students develop better attention and focus.”

The sale also provided a chance for the students to do Christmas shopping for themselves and their families.

Kocher treated herself to a colorful pen in shades of fluorescent pink, orange and green. Book-related toys and colorful book markers were also available.

Zander Reilly, an eighth-grader, was especially happy about a “bendy pencil” purchase and was trying to figure out just how to sharpen the fun writing tool.

Proceeds from the sale will allow for the purchase of more books for the the school library.

“Its a great event because it allows students the opportunity to buy their favorite books,” said Melissa Chrusch, district librarian. “And it will make it possible to purchase current titles to have available here at the library.”

Chrusch credits the middle school Student Council and the high school Library Club with making the event possible. She also spoke of the worl done for the fair by Maria Augustine-Baxter, high school librarian.

“From sales to set-up to gift wrapping, our students have worked hard,” she said.

Karen Chiarucci, of the library staff, keeps a list of the latest titles that students are asking to read. When funds become available to the library, he’s ready to purchase often-requested books.

“Sometimes movies or the media will provide a surge of popularity for a certain book or genre, such as ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent,’” she said.

Zombie and monster-inspired books are also good sellers for the middle school set.

The sale ran Tuesday through Friday. In measures of both sales and enthusiasm, it went very well. Wednesday night was an opportunity for students to invite family members to the event, providing a chance for holiday purchases.

“This was the first book fair held at this building and it couldn’t have gone any better,” said Chrusch. “The students had fun, expanded their own libraries and funds were raised to buy more books which will be available to our students.”

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