How difficult is it to buy books from Scholastic?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    You know those book clubs (I think they're called) that Scholastic runs? I have always wanted to try it with my class to encourage reading but I worry it'll be too much of a hassle. I also worry the students in my class won't be able to afford anything - my school is Title I and parent participation tends to be very low. Adding to my concern is the high Spanish-speaking population at my school.

    How complicated is it to get set up? Does Scholastic send me catalogs to send home? I don't really understand the process. If you are Title I, do you find most of your kids are able to find reasonably-priced books? Are there Spanish forms for parents?
     
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  3. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Oh man! What a bummer. Book Club registration appears to be down for the summer. I was hoping to learn more about it. Now I'm really depending on you, fine friends :)
     
  4. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    It's really not hard at all. They will send you the order forms at school. And now they even have a feature where parents can enter their orders online with a credit card (it didn't always used to be that way, even just a few years ago you'd have to collect checks and mail them in). Mine still tend to pay cash and then I have to put it on my credit card though.

    Is it worth it? I haven't had much luck. I also work in a pretty low-income area. I encourage parents to at least get the $1 books they have offered every month, I do activities and review the orders with the kids, but I will usually just get less than $10 orders total. Now, I have purchased a lot of classroom library books from them :whistle: because you really can't beat the prices and often have books about themes from that month.
     
  5. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    It's really, really, easy to use. :) Prices go from as cheap as a buck or two to more expensive sets. I think they're pretty reasonable. You'll get flyers each month starting in September (if memory serves).

    And--I believe they have a Spanish book club as well! :)

    Edited to add: yes they do. http://clubs.scholastic.com/clubs/pdfs/core/2013/march/R_6_flyer.pdf
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Our school does it but the librarian is in charge of it so I don´t actually know. She just sends the little catalogue and then we turn in the orders.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Just out of curiosity, does the librarian get all the points that your class generates? I really look forward to running the program in my class because I can choose free books with the points. It adds up to lots of books over time.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Not difficult at all. They always offer a 99 cent book. You can get extra points by agreeing to accept online orders from other classes..
     
  9. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    It's really simple, especially now that parents can place orders online. I think the part that takes the longest is separating all the books when you get the order! I have some families that will order TONS of books! And the kids are always SO excited to look through the catalogs!
     
  10. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Not hard. Turn around time is usually about 2 weeks. I have noticed that books ordered online (either by parents or yourself) arrive faster than checks processed by snail mail. (and sometimes, a parent will write a check, so you won't be able to put it on your credit card)
     
  11. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I teach at a low income school and it varies from year to year how many orders I get. Some years I have a few families that order quite a bit. Some years I get very few orders. Of course, I always order plenty myself!

    It helps if I don't send the forms every single month. I send one at the beginning of the year, another as December holidays approach, and then once or twice more in the spring. I don't send home order forms if we have a school-wide book fair coming up.

    This year I had a student from another class order from me. My account was online and her teacher hadn't activated online ordering so she ordered through me.
     
  12. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Omgosh is sooooo easy. I teach in a similar area to you and I've done very well with Scholastic to the tune of hundreds of free books and four or five very expensive sharpeners. The best part is, if you have a year where your students are disinterested it doesn't cost you anything.

    You go to scholastic and create a book club account, put in the grade you're teaching and select the catalogs (it tells you the grade level for each). Since I have so many struggling readers I pick the one for my grade level and a whole bunch of lower ones. Supposedly they're improving the leveling of the books and giving each grade level their own catalogs this coming fall.

    The first time I send it home I send home a letter to parents. Maybe you can get this translated into Spanish? I don't think the catalogs come in Spanish but I could be wrong. In the letter I basically say that this a great way to buy your child books because they're much cheaper than they would be in a book store. I also explain that when they purchase books we get points to earn free things for the classroom. I told parents if they needed suggestions for books on their child's level I'd be happy to help. I make a big deal out of in class.

    Last year you got either $10 or $20 free if your students spent 20, which my students did every month. I always got books for the classroom with the money so that students who's parents didn't ever send money could borrow those books. I also used it as a special reward so students could earn a $1-3 book.

    Sure, sometimes kids would only buy the toys or they'd buy books that they couldn't possibly read. But all that added up to points for books I could buy for them all to share.

    The one thing I will say about doing it in a low-income school is most of the parents either didn't fill out the form correctly or didn't understand it. I think some of my students also brought in their own money and never even got an adult to help them. They also pretty much always paid in cash. So every time they brought money in I'd have to sit with them and make a note of what they ordered and how much money they were giving me. It was a bit time consuming if a lot of kids brought orders the same day, but again SO worth it!
     
  13. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    The problem with that order is all the books are in Spanish. While many of my students' parents speak Spanish, they need to be reading books in English.

    But in 3rd grade my students know enough to explain to their parents what they want and get the $, never had an issue with a Spanish speaking parent using the book order. It might be a bit harder in a younger grade. But I'd send home a letter explaining what it is in English.
     
  14. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Do the parents have to pay online though? Because in my school, which is low-income, 99.9% of my student orders are in cash. Not to mention many of my students don't have internet access. I always thought all the perks for online ordering were a little unfair to those with populations like mine. I offer the online ordering, but no one has ever taken advantage.
     
  15. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I'm not sure, but I would assume they would have to pay online. My parents who wanted to pay with cash or check always just sent the order in to me instead of ordering online.
     
  16. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Actually many of the books were in English. :)
     
  17. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I want to get mine set up online for families next year. For the past nine years, I taught at a Title I school, and I understand completely. I had one student purchase a book via Scholastic this past year. But strangely, I don't remember getting the forms in my teacher mailbox after November or so, either. I remember earlier in my teaching it was a bigger deal every month, but I am hoping I get things going in the right direction again next year.
     
  18. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I used to get multiple copies of several catalogs every month. I noticed that last year I got fewer in the fall and then they stopped coming completely by spring because I didn't order from them (maybe just 1 time last year).
     
  19. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Super easy, the kids loved it and the parents loved the online ordering option. The kids last year ordered so much (I helped some of course) that I got a ton of new books and center activities with the bonus points.
     
  20. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    No, they do not have to order online. I strongly encourage check to Scholastic or purchase orders from a bank. Those that send in cash, I send out a check.

    My school is 57% free/reduced lunch. Many of those still order.
     
  21. CheleOh

    CheleOh Rookie

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    Scholastic

    It's wayyy TOO EASY. You can check my bank account and see that.

    Chele :-D
     
  22. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I have used Scholastic and some others over the years. Scholastic has been great. They are fairly quick and give excellent service. This means a lot to me as I am dealing with parents' money. I have had problems with another company awhile back (don't remember the name) and now I only go with Scholastic.

    Only thing to remember is that they have a minimum purchase in order to receive free shipping. I believe it is $20.
     
  23. BaileyTN

    BaileyTN Rookie

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    It's not hard at all! It's very easy to set up and customer service is very helpful too.

    I also work in Title 1 school, low income area but I had several parents & grandparents order (one ordered over $100!). A few parents ordered online and I would get a free book coupon for those orders. I didn't send order forms home every month, maybe every other month - but every little bit adds up with points and I was able to get LOTS of great chapter books.

    This was my 1st year teaching and I was able to use my points, Scholastic coupons, and add a little money to stock my 5th grade classroom. My students would get SO excited when a new box of books would come! --> Now I'm moving to a much lower grade and get to start over! ;)
     
  24. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I forgot to add that you can't send in the cash, I just put it on my credit card and deposit the cash into my account.

    My kids are low-income but soooo many of their families find the money for name brand sneakers and electronics. There's no reason they shouldn't give their kids a few bucks each month for books. Obviously it's not required or presented in that way, but I don't feel bad pushing it a little with my kids. Especially at the end of the school year. I kept reminding them the 1 book I gave them wasn't enough for the whole summer and they needed to have books at home to read. There was $1 Judy Moody book I think 11 of my students purchased.
     
  25. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    It is so easy! Very little work for you, especially if you can get a volunteer to staple all of the booklets and parent letter together. You could even have a volunteer call the order in. I submit mine online and it really takes just a few minutes. My school is a title 1 school, I usually have the same 3-5 kids who order. I usually spend nearly all of my room money ($230 a year) on book clubs. I wait until they have a good promotion like triple bonus points. Then you get to pick so many books for free. So fun!!!

    I've seen other teachers ask parents at Back to School Night if they would like to opt out of receiving the order forms if it causes conflict at home.

    Before you sign up talk to someone in your school that already does it. You both can get 250 bonus points for the referral!
     
  26. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    :yeahthat: :lol:

    My school is over 90% low income. I got very few orders last year, but I did get some, and I got points from those.

    Most of my points were earned from my own orders, because I am constantly buying books. That's fine with me, though. I love earning points for buying books. At certain points in the year, they had a spend $20, get $20 deal. They also had coupons for free $1 books (lots to choose from), and deals where you could earn bonus points if you ordered at a certain time. I used that $20 deal twice. I ended up getting LOTS of books for much less money than it would have been.

    I'll admit it, I'm a Scholastic addict. ;)
     
  27. melnm

    melnm Companion

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    Does anyone know how to get signed up with them? I'm in a private school so not sure if that makes a difference. I had signed up with them last year I thought but I never received any book order forms from them. I really want to stress the reading at home this year and would love the points to get free books! Just not sure how to get it going.
     
  28. CheleOh

    CheleOh Rookie

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    ^^ Just call them: 1-800-SCHOLASTIC or I'm sure there's some kind of sign-up link on their website.

    If someone at your school is using Scholastic, they might get some kind of benefit (bonus points?) if they refer you....

    Chele :)
     
  29. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    My class has participated in book clubs for years. Some years are better than others, but I usually get a few free or cheap books during the year.

    If the kids pay in cash, I enter the order online, then write a personal check and keep the cash.

    One of my favorite things to do is get the coupons (usually around Christmas) that are for one free book (up to a certain amount). That is the easiest gift I know how to give and the kids love to get a free book!! I have also used those coupons as Reading rewards when the kids have read a certain number of books.
     
  30. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I only accept cash for the book orders, unless they order online. For those that order using cash, I do as others have and place the order online using my debit card.
     
  31. raynepoe

    raynepoe Companion

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    Do you guys know about the Kellogg/Walmart promotion for scholastic books? I have a few codes from parents and I save codes and have my extended family save codes for me too. I believe for every 2 product codes you get 1 code to use on a $3 book.

    This allows students who have limited funds to buy Kellogg food products (which they may be buying anyway) and get books.

    http://kellogg.scholastic.com/
     
  32. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Thanks!
     
  33. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    I send one home each month and noticed when I send with a cover sheet listing books that I recommend, I get more orders. I also usually have one or two students who order all the time. I stress to the parents the $1.00 books, too, with no tax or shipping. The only problem I have is when I get less than $25 worth of orders (or is it 20$) I need to order some so that I get free shipping.
    I love the free things I've gotten with points, tho. An electric pencil sharpener for all size pencils, books for Christmas gifts, classroom items, so I think it is worth it!
    It promotes a love of books, which is important in any age group!
     

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