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Results and Thanks for a Special Wild Rumpus Book Fair!
Thursday, December 01, 2016 9:30 AM

Wild Rumpus

Thank you, Barton!!

The numbers are in, and it was a wild rumpus indeed! The teachers’ and specialists’ baskets were shopped, the animals chased, the choir sang, the bus shuttled, and the cookies disappeared faster than they could be refilled. This year was unusual in that the book fair took place the day after our country’s election day. So this event, which is wonderful every year, took on an added, special significance as a place for our community to gather and celebrate each other.

Due to all the support throughout the Barton community – from those who helped create and promote the event, to the stellar volunteers at the fair, to those who shopped in the store, on the phone and online – Barton now has new wonderful books for all our kids to read, and once again we have a wonderful store credit to bring even more books to our school:

  • This year Barton families and friends broke another record, purchasing a whopping 361 books to donate to teachers and specialists! (Last year was Barton’s all-time high of 338 books, and the previous record was in 2014 with 315 books.)
  • You helped Barton earn $2,287 in store credit from the day’s sales – this will turn into a lot more books showing up at school! A huge thank-you to Wild Rumpus for donating a percentage of its sales from the day and to all who shopped!
  • All together, adding up the books donated plus the books purchased with store credit, this year you put more than $6,000 worth of books into the hands of Barton students! 

Parent coordinators Fiona Pradhan, Marcy Zerwes, Michele Nealen, Sarah Kuzel Leslie, and Travina Leaks are incredibly grateful to everyone who helped make this such a success:

First, our event volunteers who helped guide people through the book baskets and served lemonade and every cookie down to the last crumb. You made the fair run smoothly and seamlessly! Molly Cooper, Sheila Eldred, Rosanna Faber, Kate Guin, Jeni Heineman, Kelly Holdgrafer, Karma Hughes, Rachel Jarman, Lucy Jones, Cindy Mueller, Anjula Razdan, Kate Rush, Mary Scavotto, Aaron Schulte, Virajita Singh, Chris Tripp, Jerri Clark Wagner, Sara-Jane Wilson. (Shout-out to the source of our awesome cookies this year: The Cookie Cart -- an impressive nonprofit in North Minneapolis run by teenagers. Check them out!

The Uppers Choir led by Lisa Skaff, who dedicated their entire afternoon to provide hours of entertainment. They attracted a great crowd of shoppers and brought such enthusiasm and excitement to the event! Many thanks to all their parents who supported their participation at this special off-site Barton event. And a special shout-out to parents Melissa Conway and Roberta Gibbons and others who volunteered to do set-up and take-down, chaperoning, pizza-dinner coordinating -- every last detail was taken care of because of you!

Uppers teacher Flory Sommer and her creative writing students, who entertained Barton’s shoppers in the evening, performing their poetry and bringing writing to life. You were courageous and inspiring! We look forward to this becoming an annual component of the book fair.

And of course, we thank the amazing staff at the Wild Rumpus Bookstore, who always go above and beyond to make our school’s book fair wonderful. This year, they worked especially hard to make sure our entire community felt their love: They created two special displays celebrating the diversity of Barton, one with Somali-English bilingual word books, and the other celebrating immigration. Go visit the store at 2720 West 43rd Street (in the Linden Hills neighborhood), and let them know Barton appreciates them!

A truly enormous number of people helped in the months prior to the event, leading to Barton’s stellar participation at the book fair:

The teachers who contributed to our Bugle articles! Patty Campbell, who brainstormed with her 3rd and 4th graders to create a Top 10 list. Patrice Pavek (grades 1/2), Sarah Hippert (grades 3/4), Lindsey Bryant (grades 5/6), Flory Sommers (grades 7/8), Nils Hoeger-Lerdal (special ed K-4) and John Dawson (ELL), who gave us their pearls of wisdom about why the book fair is so important.

Uppers teachers Allison Rubin Forester and Amber Damm, who worked to keep uppers families informed and engaged for the book fair.

Parent and staff person Nasra Hassan, who helped publicize the event to Somali parents.

Music director Lisa Roth Skaff taught the song “Glorious” to classrooms throughout the school and had a massed choir of more than 200 students K-8 sing at the Oct. 28 all-school-morning meeting. On top of that, many of her 1st and 2nd grade students stepped up to the microphone to declare what they were going to do for the book fair. Thank you to all the students who participated! You helped rally the school for the fair!

Nasra Hassan, Becky Patton, and Cierra Rucker in the office, who helped with Bugle articles, and PA announcements, and robo calls, and the email blast, and buses for the choir and shuttle, and … the list goes on.

The students who did the PA announcements: Malina Howitz, Destiny Leaks, Lila Kuntz, and Tara Pradhan.

The students who helped with posters and flyers: Gregory Jones, Mattie Jones, Sam Jones, Lila Kuntz, Destiny Leaks, Jayda Leaks, Tara Pradhan, Merik Schaefer, Nico Schaust, Jasir Zerwes, the 1st and 2nd graders in Kristin’s room, and the 3rd and 4th graders in Martha and Rebecca’s rooms.

Literacy interventionist Lisa Lange, who guided her students to make wonderful paper monsters inspired by the book Where The Wild Things Are and turned the bulletin board in the school’s main hallway into a veritable Wild Rumpus to promote the book fair.

Interim principal Cindy Mueller and Assistant Principal Diane Bagley, for their passionate support of Barton’s book fair from beginning to end.

As you can see, this truly is a Barton community event! If you have any questions or would like to help next year, contact parent coordinators Fiona Pradhan,, Travina Leaks,, Marcelena Zerwes,, Michele Nealen,, or Sarah Kuzel Leslie,

Barton's Wild Rumpus Book Fair