Photo by Heather Middleton
By Curt Yeomans
At a Kilpatrick Elementary School book fair, Tuesday, first-grader Ryan Parker gasped as his dad opened a book on natural disasters, and showed him pictures of a volcano erupting.
"Look Ryan, it's erupting, do you see that?" Charles Parker asked his son.
"Wow," said the 6-year-old, as he looked on with excitement.
Kilpatrick Elementary has been holding a fall book fair since last Friday, and it will continue until Thursday. On Tuesday, however, the school held a three-and-a-half hour afterschool extension of the fair, where parents and their children came to peruse the books, and little
odds-and-ends trinkets, that were available for sale.
Officially, said school Media Specialist Kathy Sorrell, the book fair serves as a fund-raiser to keep the media center's book collection current.
Nikki Minton, who is both a Kilpatrick parent, and a third-grade teacher at the school, said she was buying books for her son, third-grader Myles Minton, because he likes books. She estimates her son already has approximately 200 books on a book shelf, all of which he has read, at their home.
"I'm doing it because he likes to read, and it's made him a good reader," the mother said. "I know a lot of families don't have a lot of money, but I think it's important for parents to get their children a book that they can always call their own. That's something special, for the child to have a book that is stamped on the inside, and has their name written in it, and that they don't have to take back to a library."
Myles Minton, 8, said he enjoys coming to book fairs, whenever his school holds one, because there is always something new to see. "I like coming and seeing the new books that they have, and what kind of chapter books there are for me to read," he said.
Media Specialist Sorrell said every time the school has a book fair, she does one after-session to accommodate parents work schedules. She said parents, and grandparents, are also encouraged to come to the school during the school day, to shop at the fair with their students, during events with themes involving mothers, fathers and grandparents.
Tuesday morning, approximately $650 worth of books and trinkets, such as pens, pencils, erasers, and book marks, were sold during those events, the media specialist said. The afterschool portion of the book fair, she said, was for those adults who could not make it to those events.
"We do one night during the week, for parents who can't come with their children during the school day, because of work," Sorrell said. In the early portion of the afterschool book sale, there was not a rush of people showing up, but the crowds began to pick up just after 5 p.m.
The media specialist said it is important for adults to buy books for their children because it will help them later in their education. "Reading is so important for children," Sorrell said. "It broadens their horizons, and their reading skills will improve, and that will help make their school work easier to do."
Kathy Pope, the mother of a third-grader at Kilpatrick, said "parents have to put the foot down for education" by giving books to their children. Pope worked as a volunteer at the book fair on Tuesday afternoon. "To me, there's nothing more important then your child's education," Pope said. "If they learn to read, they can do anything in life."
Callie Eason, Ryan Parker's mother, said she came to buy books for her son to read because she thought it would help his education along. "I'm doing it to challenge his mind, to keep him thinking," she said. "He's a very bright kid, so the more he reads, the more advanced he becomes. And, it's also good family time, because we sit down, and read together."
Charles Parker, echoed those sentiments, and added, "It widens his vision. It seems like he's really taken up with books."