Thursday, February 02, 2006

It's School Auction Time Again!

It's that time again: planning time for the school auctions. Do they do this where you live?

Here, all the elementary schools (even many of the preschools) do auctions to help raise funds for school extras. At my 8 year old's school, the money is kept by the PTO to fund things like: extra field trips, buy book collections, provide extra playground equipment/extra items for the gym, and start the second grade Spanish Club. At our preschool, the money usually goes toward toys and playground equipment.

I really HATE fundraisers. (Just like Laura who says today, "Fundraisers are not fun.")

To make matters worse, each family is asked to come up with a special item to donate for the auction. Many items come from donations from health clubs, summer camps, restaurants, spas. But, then there are the big ticket items--vacations at people's time shares, autographed sports items (we have a few players' children at our school), cool stuff from mommy and daddy's business. You get the idea.

It's hard when you don't have local connections. If we lived near our families, we could come up with some really cool packages to give away. But, we don't.

For you author and illustrators out there, here are some potential solutions:

1) Team up with other authors and illustrators to create a state collection of books. For example, a KANSAS COLLECTION would be books written and/or illustrated by people in Kansas.

2) Offer the school a writer's workshop (illustrator/author visit). Offer this as an individual or work with others to create a literacy or book creation or creativity workshop event at the school. For a hot item like this, parents at our school would go in together to buy the package for a whole grade level (as they did with the sixth grade pool party last year).

3) Offer a summer camp for young writers or illustrators and give the school a few free camps to give away.

Even if you don't have kids in school, this could be an effective marketing idea for someone looking for an opportunity to get into the schools with their workshops.

Happy Auction Season!


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