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Spreading a love for literacy


Senior Maddy O'Brien, junior Kathryn Martin and sophomore Katie Reisdorf of the Education Club. The club is currently hosting CSB/SJU's first ever Scholastic Book Fair. | Ashley Baggenstoss

Peace. Love. Books.

Education students are sporting this motto on their volunteer aprons at CSB/SJU’s first Scholastic Book Fair.

The fair started Nov. 21 and will run through Nov. 23 in Mary Commons. Today, Friday, it will be open from 12-6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Education club is hosting the fair.

“It’s helping education club connect with the community and connect with youth. I believe reading is an important part of intellectual growth,” Education Club Co-Treasurer Sean Byron said.

Karen Wendlandt, Book Fair field representative for Scholastic Book Fairs, originally reached out to CSB/SJU about hosting a Book Fair. She helps coordinate fairs in St. Cloud and thought CSB/SJU could benefit from hosting one.

“We are all about supporting and creating a love for reading,” Wendlandt said. “The earlier we can get kids hooked on reading, the better lifelong readers they’ll become.”

Education students are volunteering at the fair to promote reading in the community.

“I just wanted to give back to my school and community and the club,” Education Club Elementary Representative Bridget Mathiowetz said.

The fair will sell books for youth and adults of all reading levels.

“I want college students to recognize the importance of books for all ages,” Book Fair Chairperson and Education Club President Maddie O’Brien said.

Although hosting a Scholastic Book Fair is a rare occasion for a college campus, there have been other schools in the area that have found it successful in the past.

Wendlandt knew that future teachers need to start building their classroom libraries. By volunteering at the fair, education students will be able to see what books are popular among the age group they hope to teach.

Proceeds from the fair will provide books for a local charity and also benefit the CSB/SJU education department.

Student coordinators sent advertisements to local schools to promote the fair and encourage students to attend.

“I hope kids and teachers from the community come and can make a connection with St. Ben’s and St. John’s,” Mathiowetz said.

Mathiowetz stressed the importance of literacy as the foundation of learning.

“Everyone remembers going to Scholastic book fairs when they were little, and it was always the best day of the year. I hope that students can sort of relive that experience by coming to our college book fair and rekindle their love for reading,” O’Brien said.

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