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Davis Middle School book fair plumbs ocean depths
Students get creative with 'under the sea' theme
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At C.W. Davis Middle School, the annual spring book fair comes with sharks, mermaids and underwater treasure chests.

Students in Kristin Garner’s marketing education classes spent the last several months preparing for this week’s book fair with an “under the sea” theme.

“We’ve paired up with marketing for our fourth book fair we’ve done together,” said Christa Holland, media specialist and book fair chairperson. “They have just blown it out. It’s fantastic. They go way out of their way to come up with the theme and all the decorations. They go out to market to all the classrooms, do prize drawings every morning and have commercials that are fantastic.”

Eighth-graders on the marketing team spent the week dressing up during class and recruiting students to the book fair. Janae Johnson and Bayley Metcalf, eighth-graders at Davis, said the decorations in the media center are not only festive, but draw a map toward the book fair in the back corner.

The decorations include a giant shark’s mouth surrounding the entrance to the media center.

“We wanted you to feel like you’re going underwater,” Metcalf said. “It’s not going in the shark’s mouth, but just going under into the seaweed and water.”

Once inside, the ceiling is covered with blue water-like streamers and hand-drawn and cut fish.

“A current with fish, mermaids and turtles leads you where you are going,” Johnson said.

A giant sunken ship sits in the middle of the fair, with sails that say “Davis Middle” on the ceiling-high mast. Shelves, walls, windows and the floor are covered with blue “waves,” handmade seashells, messages in bottles and more, while beach-themed music such as the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA” plays through the room.

“Each student, when they come up to check out and buy a book, adds a fish to their class jar,” said eighth-grader Dino Jarrin. “Whichever grade has the most gets a free hat day.”

There’s also a gallon jug full of goldfish crackers, and students can guess how many goldfish in the jug. The closest guess wins the cracker jug.

Holland said she prefers the spring book fair over the fall book fair each school year, because students qualify to buy one, get one free in the spring. So students can get two books for the price of one, or they can choose to donate their free book to another student in the school who perhaps couldn’t afford any books.

“It helps us to get a book in every kid’s hand,” Holland said.

The marketing team not only helps sell books, but Holland said the biggest thing they do is help get students excited about reading. Johnson said the “under the sea” theme was chosen because the marketing students want their classmates to get “hooked on a book.”

“We love it,” Holland said. “They do such a good job, and the kids get so excited. The more they come in and see all the excitement, the more excited they all become about the book fair.”