Since early November, a group of 30 students has been hard at work spending a student book budget. This year’s budget was funded through a generous grant from James Patterson. Students created a survey in Google forms, surveyed the school, analyzed the results, set goals, met with vendors, and created consideration lists.
You can read more about their work in these posts:
Over the past week, students have worked to narrow those consideration lists down until they had books that met our goals and were within our budget. There were many tough decisions as usual. Students had to consider how many of each kind of book to order. Should we order more superhero books than anything else? Should we order copies of books that we already have in the collection? Should we include books that we knew students would like but didn’t actually meet one of the goals we set in the beginning? Should we spend more money with a certain vendor in order to earn additional free books? As usual, I saw students go to bat for a book because of something they heard other students ask for. For example, there was a Frozen drawing book with Gumdrop Books. One of the 5th grade boys said, “I don’t personally like Frozen, but I know a lot of students who do. I think we should order another copy of this book so that more students can enjoy it.” I’m always amazed by the conversations that surface during this project.
After cutting books from the list, I sent the student choices to Avid Bookshop, Capstone, and Gumdrop books to give us final quotes. They each emailed me a final list for students to see. Students met for one final time before the holidays to give a stamp of approval to the final lists. There were a few minor changes to the lists in the end. We added an additional Wimpy Kid book and some additional books in series.
Now, all of the lists have been sent to the vendors. We met our goal of finishing before the holidays and students spent the entire $5,000 James Patterson Grant and managed to stretch that budget to an additional $750 thanks to Capstone Rewards. Now we wait. The books should arrive in January. At that time, we’ll meet again to unpack the books, market them to the school, and enjoy a first look and checkout before the rest of the school.
Great work student book budget team!