Traveling into the world of literature at the Sacred Heart book fair


Convent of the Sacred Heart hosted a book fair Sunday April 3, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., as well as during the school day on Monday and Tuesday. Sacred Heart has organized this annual book fair for the past fifteen years, and this year continued to expand its book selection. Originally, this event was a fundraiser introduced to expand the school library and to promote awareness about girl’s rights to have access to reading material.
Today, the main purpose of the Sacred Heart book fair is to generate excitement for reading by providing the Sacred Heart community with the opportunity to purchase a vast selection of books and to gather book donations for Waterside School. Sacred Heart will donate 25 percent of the proceeds to various school-based reading programs. 
Waterside School is a nonprofit elementary school located in Stamford, Connecticut. Waterside school first opened its doors September 12, 2001 in efforts to provide affordable private school education for underprivileged children from junior kindergarten to fifth grade. The school also provides the students with school supplies and reading material. The donations from the Sacred Heart book fair will go to Waterside School classrooms, as well as its library.

Promoting book donations to Waterside School. Courtesy of Elisabeth Hall '18
Poster promoting book donations to Waterside School.
Courtesy of Elisabeth Hall ’18

“Our students love to learn about new authors and stories. My first graders in particular, love following series. When we have multiple copies of books it allows multiple students to enjoy simultaneously, discuss and inspire ongoing reading with each other,” First-grade teacher at Waterside School, Mrs. Caitlyn Bertoncin said.
This year, Mrs. Gery Tobias and Mrs. Elisabeth Bleuel, co-chairs of the book fair, collaborated to organize everything from book orders, to set-up and volunteers. Sacred Heart webmaster Mr. Sal Rotondo assisted Mrs. Tobias and Mrs. Bleuel by handling all checkout systems during the book fair.
Ms. Elyse Schultz, Special Events Manager at Convent of the Sacred Heart, managed publicity for the event by making frequent announcements and handing out flyers. Mrs. Kristen Donovan, Community Building Chairperson and one of the co-chairs of the book fair the previous year, worked with the team to oversee the fair and to make it a community building event. With the help of each of these individuals and the Parents’ Association, this year’s annual book fair provided the Sacred Heart community with a larger selection of books than ever before.
By moving the book fair from the smaller library to the spacious DuBois gymnasium, Sacred Heart was able to accommodate thousands of books of varying genres and age groups. 
Each year, the individuals organizing the book fair arrange activities to keep the Sacred Heart community intrigued. This year, the committee worked together to provide a reading nook with bean bags for students. They also provided parent readers to sit and read to younger children. Additionally, Mrs. Kiki Carozza, Convent of the Sacred Heart Middle School Coordinator of Educational Technology, directed activities in the maker-space such as drawing and robot building. There were also various small boutiques, selling an assortment of jewelry, clothing, toys, and home accessories.
“I think in a society that is so attached to computers and screens it is incredibly important to remind children of how much fun it is to pick up a book. There is something about turning pages, or the feel of a book, that all children should know. The Book Fair puts the focus on books and reading and gives the girls a chance to buy a new book that interests them.” Mrs. Kristen Donovan said.
– Elisabeth Hall, Staff Writer