MCHENRY, Ill., Aug. 27, 2020 — Whether the 2020-21 school year is starting in the classroom or remotely, Follett is ensuring elementary and middle school students won't be missing out on one of their favorite back-to-school traditions: the book fair. With Follett Book eFairs, events can be held 100 percent virtually with schools choosing the dates that work best for them, students are empowered to select the books they wish to read, and families are afforded the opportunity to conveniently purchase books online.
The ease with which Follett's online fairs are carried out are extremely attractive to school and book fair coordinators. The approximate setup time is 10 minutes, while there is no need for forms, handling cash or finding space in the school.
"I chose a Follett Book eFair because it seemed so easy," said Shawn Crist, media assistant at James E. Plew Elementary School in Niceville, Fla. "It was almost too good to be true. I didn't have to worry about rearranging our Media Center or finding volunteers."
Crist particularly appreciated the ability to customize the eFair offerings by tying in relevant books to what students were currently learning in the classrooms and the library.
Follett has carefully curated the selection of books to include:
- A focus on diversity and inclusion titles;
- New releases and popular characters; and
- Price points to fit every budget.
Librarians, teachers and coordinators also are appreciative of the robust rewards options, which offer 40 percent back on every purchase, that can be redeemed for books and other Follett materials. "The rewards are fantastic," said Carol Linderman, fifth grade teacher at Glen Flora Elementary School in Waukegan, Ill. "It has really helped me build my classroom library."
New for the 2020-21 school year is that eFair rewards will also be supported in Titlewave, Follett's premier platform for school libraries, beginning in late September.
In addition, schools hosting an online book fair between now and Dec. 31 will receive up to $50 in additional rewards. Rewards will be given in the form of a Follett Book Fair gift card and can be redeemed on the Follett Rewards Store or at future book or eFairs.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact schools across the country, Follett also continues to make safety a top concern for all of its book fair experiences. "From our warehouses to our drivers, safety rules are a No. 1 priority and taken very seriously at each step," said Britten Follett, executive vice president, Follett School Solutions.
While an online book fair may be a good fit for many schools and districts during the pandemic, Follett also is offering two other changes to the traditional physical book fair:
- Online Companion Book Fairs: In addition to the great selection of books at the on-site fair, families will be able to shop an expanded catalog in an online fair – included with every onsite fair. This new option will help maximize a school's Follett Book Fair rewards and give everyone an opportunity to shop the event. This is perfect for those unable to visit one's on-site event or if schools are not allowing visitors.
- Low-touch Book Fairs: This smaller fair is designed to fit in a small space, hallway or, if needed, can be separated and rolled by grade level into a classroom to reduce traffic. With this low-touch, space-conscious option, schools will also receive an online companion fair to support online shopping. The low-touch fairs receive all benefits of a traditional book fair.
"With our various Follett Book Fair options, we're trying to make it easier to shop anytime or anywhere, all the while supporting students' love of reading," Britten Follett said. "Book fairs have long been a wonderful back-to-school tradition and we are here to support educators as they look for alternatives to keep things as normal as possible for the kids in these unprecedented times."