If you’re wondering how to get all of the supplies, furniture, and materials needed for your preschool classroom, you should consider doing preschool Scholastic Book Orders. Do you remember getting book orders when you were in elementary school? Your teacher would pass out these stacks of paper magazines that had every book you could ever dream of inside. Once your mom ordered the books, you’d be so excited to get them. And then finally, your teacher would put them on your desk and you got to go home with new books and sometimes even activities or toys, too.
That all stems from Scholastic Book Orders, and now you can offer your preschoolers the same joys as you got when you were a little child, too!
The great news is… most parents remember getting their own book orders as a kid, and it’s those memories that will help you create large book orders for your classroom each month.
When your parents order from Scholastic each month, they get fun books, activities, and toys for their kids (and they help their child build up their love of reading), and you get bonus points for their order. As you save those bonus points up, you’ll actually get to redeem the bonus points for free supplies, books, and curriculum.
My parents ordered so much that I would usually get between 2,000-5,000 bonus points every month. That was enough to earn me an extra $1,000 in free materials and books.
I was even able to give every student who ordered a FREE BOOK with each of their orders -AND- a FREE BOOK to every child who attended our Christmas party every year (from Santa no less!)
To start with Scholastic, just go to: clubs.scholastic.com and sign up. They’ll mail you a ton of paper order forms in fat booklets. Everything is free, even shipping, so you don’t pay a dime to offer this for your parents.
Then, we hand out a letter with the August book order forms on our very first day of school.
Parents are usually super excited and that’s the best time to encourage them to order. In the letter, it specifically instructs parents to order ONLINE (i.e. not send the form back with cash or check). That way, you don’t have to manually enter any of the forms, and everything is processed for you.
Sometimes, you’ll still get a paper order form with check, but it’s super rare as long as you always give that letter to your parents (and instruct them how to order in any newsletter you send out, to.)
Then, wait for about 1.5 weeks to get all the orders in. I always put a deadline down and then send a reminder Facebook message and newsletter post that the deadline is coming up.
TIP: To incentivize parents to order that month, I always reward them with a free book if they order. Sometimes, Scholastic will already give you free books as a bonus with your order; other times you’ll have to buy your own. But if you look for the books that are 35 points, that’s about $1 per book and you can really stock up on those with your bonus points.
(When I’m ordering Santa’s books to give out to the kids at Christmas time, I also follow the same 35-point formula and stock up on tons of winter/Christmas/gingerbread books.)
TIP: You can also remind parents that they can order online for their teenagers,
themselves, and even their babies and toddlers. Scholastic items make great Christmas and birthday gifts, too!
Once all the orders are waiting for you in your Scholastic online account, simply go through the steps to submit the order. They’ll ask you to select a lot of free books, and then you can choose to use your bonus points at that time or save them up.
I like to save my bonus points up, and then do a huge shopping spree in November and March when our students are getting bored of classroom materials and would appreciate a fresh influx of new materials.
When it’s time to use your bonus points, you can get things like laptops, cameras, microwaves, rugs, books, children’s couches, and of course, amazing curriculum and manipulatives, too.
When your order is shipped to you about 1-2 weeks later, I suggest putting all the books in a huge pile in the middle of your living room (when preschool isn’t in session). Then, sit in front of them and fan the books out so you can see all the titles.
Then, take the order form (it’s shipped to you in the box) and start filling orders. Have a stack of 9”x12” manila envelopes, and fill in Jill’s order in one envelope and put her name on it.
Repeat the process with Jack’s order, etc. until all orders are done. You should be left with any free books and materials that are yours at the end.
Lastly, put all the manila envelopes in piles by class and hand them out (or have your teachers hand them out) when class time is over. Because the children are so young, I never put the books directly in their hands without envelopes hiding what’s inside. If I just handed out books to some kids and not others, that would be a recipe for disaster. Instead, when kids ask, I just say, “Be sure to give this to your parents.”
TIP: Because I’m doing all the work of collecting and processing orders, I don’t let my teachers have all the bonus points. I use all the bonus points for the school as I see needs arise; however, each teacher does get to order $10 of free books each month, and they really enjoy that, especially for holiday books.
I can’t wait to see all the supplies, furniture, and materials you’ll get after using preschool Scholastic Book Orders