There’s nothing more special than the doting love of Grandparents. But sadly, not all children have the pleasure of knowing their Grandparents, so that is where Special Friends can step in and fill the gap.
Providing an opportunity for the Grandparents and Special Friends of our students to be involved in the school lives of their young ones is one of the most enjoyable and special events I’ve ever organized in the school libraries in which I’ve worked. Observing the look of joy on the faces of both the students and their visitors really is magical.
After setting up the date in the school calendar, invitations can be prepared and sent out by students or Library Staff. Contact your local bookshop or regular book supplier and get them to agree to ‘giving’ you a bundle of books on appro. Better still go in and select what you want, being sure to include a range of cheap to expensive books, fiction and non-fiction.
Using easy to peel off labels, record the cost on the front of each book. Then on Grandparents & Special Friends Day set up an attractive display with a sign inviting attendees to donate a book into the library in honour of their grandchild/special friend. Be sure to have a pile of donation leaflets on hand so that details can be recorded – name and address of the donor (so you can send a note of thanks) as well as the wording that they would like recorded on the donation sticker which will be inserted into the book.
The only other bits and pieces you need is some petty cash and a person to handle the ‘sales’ and some morning and afternoon tea. If you really want to make it a special day, you could, in advance, invite some of the grandparents/special friends to do a reading. Small groups of students, clustered around ‘visiting readers’, creates a warm and fuzzy feeling for the day.
And – by the way – if you are considering running this event, do think twice about the wisdom of restricting it to just “Primary’ aged students. You’d be surprised how thrilled and excited older students feel when they are included in this kind of event!
Give it a go. If it worked for me, it may also work for you!