Book Fair is the primary source of funds for the RPPS Parent Council – and this amazing event requires more than 4,000 volunteer hours each year. So we need the help of every RPPS family, in place of hitting up friends and relatives to buy this or sponsor that. Our motto is: “One sale: the book sale.”
What can I do to help and when?
There are many ways to help: whatever time you can offer, we’ll gratefully fill with a job!
Please consider joining the Book Fair Standing Committee (BFSC): we are urgently seeking a Co-Chair, a Book Donation Team Lead and a Sponsorship Team Lead for Book Fair (BF).
We are always seeking more help on the Book Bin Team: volunteers take shifts to empty the Book Bins and pack and store donations.
To learn more about this or any role, drop us a line: volunteer [at] rockcliffeparkps.com
Some roles to consider:
*Café Sponsorship Coordinators (1+ volunteers; before BF) – Work with the Sponsorship Coordinator to approach local businesses for food donations for the Café. We can provide leads and clear instructions.
*Café Managers (3+ volunteers; during BF) – Help manage the Café and its volunteers during BF weekend. We have lots of tips from steely veterans, but restaurant experience is an asset.
*Book Fair Café Closing Team Leader (1 volunteer; one day) – Come in at 7pm on the last day of BF (Sunday) to supervise cleaning of the small gym, milk room, kitchen, fridge, oven and all dishes used. You’ll ensure that Café equipment and supplies are neatly put away, clearly labelled and listed for easy reference. We’ll provide clear instructions and volunteers to help.
*Name-the-Theme Contest Coordinator (1 volunteer)
We hold a contest every spring to choose the next BF theme. Each RPPS class suggests up to three literary themes. From these suggestions, the BFSC selects a shortlist of five themes and RPPS students vote for their favourite. The class (or classes) that suggested the winning theme win a popcorn and movie party!
Advertise the contest, collect suggestions and present them to the BFSC. You will then take the shortlist to each class, collect and count the votes and coordinate the party for the winning class. We’ll provide lots of guidance!
*Children’s Book Drive Helper (Spring)
Every year the Children’s Team holds a children’s book drive for all RPPS classes (date TBD). The class that collects the most books gets a prize and all students get a Freezie for helping out. The Children’s Team advertises the contest, provides marked boxes for the classrooms and collects the boxes when full.
Ensure all boxes are packed, labelled and stored properly. Sorting experience is a bonus but not a must: we can show you how to pack boxes flat and full every time!
*Class Book Shop Helpers (1+ volunteers; 2–3 days before BF)
The week before Book Fair opens, every RPPS student comes to the gym to buy a book.
Help set out (and hold back) books, match kids with books, and put the section back together again after each class is finished shopping. (Volunteers must be available during school hours those days.)
*Club Read Prep (1+ volunteers; Thursday before BF)
During Book Fair, the Children’s Team organizes a Club Read table featuring books customers can purchase to donate to the RPPS library. The donor’s name is written on a commemorative label inside the book.
Organize the Club Read table before Book Fair begins – prepare and insert labels, display the books attractively and obtain containers for the sold books, etc. (You can also sign up for shifts at the Club Read table during Book Fair, but this isn’t required.)
*Children’s Team General Help (5+ volunteers; before and during BF) – Sort, price and tidy up books, and generally keep our children’s book section in good shape.
BOOK DONATION TEAM
*Inventory Rep (2+ volunteers; during BF) – Conduct a rough inventory of books on each of the three days of Book Fair. This gives section leaders insight into day-to-day sales and provides BFSC with valuable information on what sells and what doesn’t.
*Sponsorship Team Members (2+ volunteers; before BF) – Enlist sponsors for Book Fair from among local businesses, collect monies, manage signage and communicate with sponsors. You’ll also help with the Adopt-a-Bookcase initiative.
*Cash Managers (4+ volunteers, during BF) – Supervise cashiers on duty and act as the point person for questions or situations that may arise at the cash. Cashier experience, particularly at a past BF, is preferred.
*Book Fair Cashiers (20+ volunteers; during BF; training required) – Work the cash machines on BF weekend. There are lots of shifts available and we’ll teach you everything you need to know during an evening or weekend training session.
*Cash Area Set-up Coordinator (1+ volunteers; Thursday before BF) – Set up the cash area on the Thursday evening before Book Fair opens. You’ll ensure that tables, cash machines and stools are available for all cashiers. You’ll post proper signage and make sure the pathway for customers is clearly marked.
*Cashier Trainer (prior to BF, experience required) – Train new cashier volunteers in the run-up to BF weekend. We hope to schedule two 30-minute sessions on evenings or weekends.
SIGNAGE & DECORATING TEAM
*Sign Auditor (1 volunteer, prior to BF)
There are a lot of signs at Book Fair, from shelf labels and sponsorship signs to A-frames and large banners.
Determine what new signs are needed and which old ones can be thrown out. You’ll also document the signage process: how and where to order new ones, where to post them before and during Book Fair weekend, and how best to store them afterwards.
*Signage Coordinators (2+ volunteers; before, during and after BF) – Post and monitor signage outside the school, around the neighbourhood, and inside and around the gyms. You’ll also remove and store outdoor signs once BF is over.
*Poster Coordinator (1 volunteer; before BF; design experience helpful) – Design the next Book Fair poster and coordinate distribution. We’ll provide clear printing instructions as well as postering helpers.
*Sale Map & Floor Planners (2+ volunteers, before BF) – During set-up, to fill in section names on the BF floor plan so that working copies are available for sorting and final copies are posted Thursday evening before BF’s grand opening.
*Stager (1+ volunteer; a day or two before BF) – Suggest and execute interesting – and affordable – strategies to make our displays visually appealing.
*Photographers (2+ volunteers; before, during and after BF) – Take photos that capture the full BF experience, from sorting and set-up, through the sale itself, and to the final teardown hurrah. This includes editing, tagging and uploading images to a shared site, for use on the BF website and in promotional materials.
*Clothing Coordinator (1+ volunteers; before BF) – Work with a T-shirt printing company to (possibly) design the shirt. You’ll create hard-copy order forms and work with the RPPS web monkey to add the T-shirts to the school’s online store. Using the completed online and hard copy forms, you’ll create a spreadsheet and place the order with the clothing company. Once the shirts arrive, you’ll organize delivery to classes and individuals. Finally, you’ll provide the completed spreadsheet and funds collected to the Book Fair Treasurer. We’ll provide form templates and guidance from steely veterans.
*Pricing Specialists (As many as possible; before BF) – We particularly need volunteers with interest in and knowledge of: architecture; chemistry; communications; computers; DIY; decorating; economics; gardening; LGBTQ issues; mathematics; military; philosophy; photography; politics; sociology; true crime; women’s studies.
We’ll provide pricing guidelines but we trust your expertise – volunteer shifts are flexible and available daytimes or evenings.
*Security & Door Guards (3+ volunteers; during BF) – Ensure visitors remain in approved areas of the school only and exit via the small gym. BFSC may identify other security measures in the run-up to BF.
*Opening Clean-up Crew Leaders (2+ volunteers; Thursday night before BF) – Tidy up before the Grand Opening – ensure tape is off all shelves and correct signage is up; do a safety check (e.g., no large books or objects on top of bookcases) and generally do a final once-over so everything is customer-ready for Friday morning.
*Closing Clean-up Crew Leaders (2+ volunteers; Sunday evening) – Beginning around 6pm on the last day of BF, to oversee clean-up. You’ll direct any overstock being kept to one of the BF storage rooms along with store signs, fixtures and usable boxes. You’ll return the coat racks and ensure there is no garbage or other items left in either gym or on the stage.
*Hospitality Team Members (2+ volunteers daily; set-up prior to BF) – Keep fresh coffee, cream, milk, water, fruit and baked goods available to our volunteers – and out of the hands of wily students. You’ll also keep the snack table and kitchenette clean and tidy.
*Hospitality Shoppers (2+ volunteers; set-up prior to BF) – Coordinate the purchase of coffee, snacks and and other items to keep our volunteers happy. You’ll establish a system to ensure items are checked regularly and restocked often. We provide grocery store gift cards for purchases; you provide transportation.
*Supply Shoppers (2+ volunteers; before and during BF) – Coordinate the purchase of office supplies and other items as identified by BFSC or other volunteers (e.g., pencils, masking tape, twine, etc.) to keep these things in ready supply for our volunteers. You’ll check stock regularly to avoid shortages. We provide store gift cards for purchases; you provide transportation.
*Inventory & Restocking Team Members (4+ volunteers; before and during BF) – Help organize overstock, restock shelves and keep track of book inventory during Book Fair setup and Book Fair weekend.
*Photocopier Helpers (2 volunteers; before and during BF) – Help make photocopies of the many documents required during setup and BF. We provide electronic documents and arrange with RPPS staff for you to use the school photocopier.
*Emergency Plan Writer (1 volunteer; before BF) – Draft an Emergency Plan for Book Fair – evacuation strategies, lock-down and fire-drill procedures for volunteers, etc.
VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT TEAM
*Badge Makers (2+ volunteers; before BF) – Purchase, print and sort BF volunteer name badges. This task has two phases: you’ll make one batch for volunteers working during setup and another, bigger batch for volunteers working during BF. We provide a template and a spreadsheet with all the names and titles (where applicable) as well as gift cards to purchase supplies.
*RPPS Student Volunteer Coordinators (1+ volunteers; before BF) – Organize RPPS Grade 5 and 6 student volunteers during setup and BF. You’ll distribute the volunteer package (electronically and in hard copy) and collect responses—all forms must be filled out properly and signed by a parent or guardian. You’ll create a student volunteer schedule and provide printed confirmation to students as well as e-mail confirmation to parents. We provide clear written instructions and volunteer packages ready for distribution.
*BF Volunteer Party Team (2+ volunteers; Wednesday after BF) – Organize, set up for and clean up after the BF volunteer party, held in the school library the Wednesday evening after BF.
*Police Records-Check Coordinator (1 volunteer; before BF) – Work with the Volunteer Coordinator to ensure that key Book Fair volunteers have police record checks complete prior to BF. This is a free service for school volunteers.