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Book swap and book exchange ideas

7 years 10 months ago #170502 by Rose H
Hi there nursejenn3!
We'd say you be better off not charging and inviting parents to come with their kids, exchange books and relax with each other. One of the best ways to build involvement is to give parents ways to get to know each other without asking them to give any money via an entry fee or donation. The more connected parents feel, the more likely they are to get involved. It can sometimes be a slow process, but it works! And it is worth investing in it, a little bit at a time. Do you have anything planned for back-to-school time? It's a great time to reach out and make initial connections with parents. Often, if parents have a good first impression of your group, they are more likely to get involved and volunteer during the school year.

Good luck!

7 years 10 months ago #170501 by nursejenn3
Do you charge to enter the swap or just ask them to bring books to swap? I have been researching ideas to get more parent involvement at our school and thought a book swap would be a great idea but wasn't sure exactly how to run it. Thanks for any input :)
17 years 3 months ago #129165 by LUVMYKIDS
We've never had that happen since we have such a huge selection which includes many new books that we purchased as I described above, but I guess I would make them some kind of voucher for the next exchange or maybe give them a small gift certificate to our next book fair if it's not too far off. For the students who bring their books with them to the exchange I don't put the students books on the exchange table until they've made a selection just because I usually don't have time right then. So you could eliminate the portion of the event where they bring books in beforehand if the situation you described is a big concern.

Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.
17 years 3 months ago #129147 by luvmygirls2000
I am curious, how would you handle the situation if a student has brought in books, and can't find any books that they'd like in return? Especially if the books that they brought in, have been taken already by another child.

17 years 4 months ago #128568 by LUVMYKIDS
We did 3 book exchanges last year and have done 2 so far this year as part of our reading program. We send a note home about 2 weeks before the event to announce the date and time and give the "rules" for participating.

The students bring gently used books and exchange them one for one. We set a limit of 5, but note that if someone would like to send an extra book or books for students who want to participate and don't have a book to exchange it would be wonderful.

We have done our book exchanges two ways: In conjunction with a family night event and during school hours. The school hour exchanges allow more children to participate, but the family event exchanges also allow you to get the parents involved with an adult exchange.

For the family event exchange, we give the option of bringing the books in before the event or that evening. Having the books brought in before the event allows us to have a wider selection of books(and have them sorted) right from the beginning. To keep track of what has been brought in, we give each teacher a class roster sheet to mark the qty of books next to the child's name. We then pick up the rosters on the day of the event and simply mark the students off when they pick up their books that night.

For the in school exchange the kids simply bring their books with them that day.

We sort the books by age/reading level as much as possible to make it quicker and easier for the students to select a book.

We have purchased some bargain books from our book fairs and ordered supplies of bruised books from Scholastic to beef up the number of books we have, especially for the older kids since that's a section we are usually short on for books.

The exchanges are a great way to encourage reading throughout the year and are very easy to do.

Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.
17 years 4 months ago #128490 by Holly Eighmy
We do a monthly book exchange for those kids that their parents can't afford to purchase books from the monthly Scholastic book orders. For each gently used book the student brings in they can either choose another book then or just get a coupon and use it another month. During our Nevada Reading Week activities we do the book exchange for an entire week. If you'd like to see our flyers and coupons, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I'll send them to you.

Good luck,
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