The Learning Tree Cultural Preparatory School found an innovative way to hold their 2nd annual book fair. The TLT book fair was held on Friday, November 28, at the Barnes and Noble, located at 290 Baychester Avenue in Bay Plaza Shopping Center. Throughout the day, if a customer mentioned the school while checking out, a percentage of their purchase would be donated to the school.
Though students of TLT, located at 801 Bartholdi Street, were not required to attend, over 100 of the schools 300 students arrived throughout the day to support their school.
“The children of this school are so dedicated,” said Ina Norris, teacher and long time member of the TLT community. “They are giving up part of their vacation to come and support their school.”
The school’s African Drummers started off the book fair at 10 a.m. with an exciting display of talent and culture, explaining the meaning and history behind each song and rhythm.
“We have over a dozen drummers from the school, grades kindergarten through eight,” said Melissa Baker, a member of TLT’s parent council who offered her public relations serviced to help organize the event. “Its amazing what these children are able to do.”
TLT sent out requests for authors willing to volunteer and lend their time to assist in raising funds for the school. Events such as workshops and book readings occurred from 11 a.m. until the final reading and signing by Danny Simons at 7 p.m.
Customers entering the store were encouraged to join the variety of activities planned, including the students open mic session, held at 3 p.m. Last year, when TLT first experimented with the Barnes and Noble book fair, the intention was to have only students participate, but due to an overwhelming interest from store guests it was open this year to anyone wanting to express themselves.
“The kids were very excited and we had such a great response in May,” said Baker, whose daughter is in kindergarten.
As a private school, funding comes from tuition of the students, so the book fair and fundraising done by TLT brings in a significant relief for the school. The proceeds collected will go to support many of the school’s supply needs and extracurricular programs.
For furhter information on TLT visit www.learningtreeprep.org.