Tuesday was our annual Bingo for Books event. I posted about it on my Facebook page and had several questions about it, so I wanted to elaborate here. It’s surprisingly simple and so much fun.
At our school, Bingo for Books started as a fourth grade event, then it moved to third grade, and is now a combined 3/4 family night. It’s put together by our Communities in Schools coordinator. She sends home invitations with all third and fourth grade students. Their entire families (parents, older and younger siblings) are invited. This gives us an approximate number.
Our coordinator gets new and gently used books donated by our community (especially a large church in the area). She also asks our Parent/Teacher Organization for money to order Scholastic books. The teachers sort those books into approximate grade levels. We also ordered bookmarks for the kids this year.
On the actual day, students and their families return to school at 6:00pm. We serve light refreshments, but the highlight is our long table full of books, spread out by approximate grade levels. The entire family is allowed to play (though there is a story time for really young children if parents want the free child care during the event).
When you get a Bingo, you get to grab a free book off the table! We play with lots of winners in each round before we clear the boards so everyone leaves with a stack of books. We also have door prizes for adults (educational books and gift cards). This year, Texas Roadhouse gave us free appetizer coupons too. We usually have more books than we can give away in an hour, so everyone grabs an extra book on the way out the door. We save the rest for the next year.
It’s a long day, but it’s a fun night. I love seeing parents play games with their children. The best part though? The kids came into school today and were sooo excited about their free books that they confessed to staying up too late reading them. Love that!
Do you do any family nights at your school?