Skip to main content

Sugar House Journal

Roadrunners hope for ‘double win’ with book fair at Highland Park Elementary

May 09, 2018 15h50 ● By Jana Klopsch

Highland Park Roadrunners at play. (Highland Park Elementary)

By Lawrence Linford | [email protected]

Highland Park Elementary, home of the Roadrunners, is having a book fair May 1-4 from 8-9 a.m. and 2:30-5 p.m. Hundreds of children’s books will be sold including picture books, chapter books, book series and more.

Fifty percent of sales will be donated back to the elementary school supplying all kinds of school materials: books, audio, whiteboards and more.

“The Highland Park neighborhood is a great neighborhood and we have a lot of people that support the school. So we want to get the message out to Sugar House and Highland Park that if they want to purchase books for their kids or their grandkids that’s great,” said Jacob Stone, a member of Highland Park Elementary Parent Teacher Association who is running the book fair.

“If they’d also like to purchase books and donate them back to the school, that’s a double win for us,” said Stone. Teacher wish lists will be displayed during the fair, so those interested in buying then donating the books back to the school can choose the best ones.

The school puts a special emphasis on reading. Each classroom has a monthly reading calendar with goals the teacher sends home with each student. At the end of the month students return their calendars and those who participated get to enjoy a fun activity, such as a popcorn or pizza party, depending on their grade level.

“There is great power in sitting with a child and sharing a book together,” said Principal Debora Cluff. “I will never forget sitting down with my grandmother and her reading to me. When I was young I struggled to read and so her reading to me was something I cherished and helped me overcome my struggle to read. Reading helps children explore places they may never go and read about different characters and see them from another perspective.”

Along with the school promoting reading at home there is “the opportunity for kids to find different avenues in which to shine,” said Cluff. For instance, many students participate in the science fair with some kids making it to the regional competition. The Reflections contest, an arts competition with categories such as photography, music and poetry, is also popular with students. Some Roadrunners make it all the way to state.

Active involvement by parents helps maintain a lively arts program. A unique cross-curricular program, for some grade levels, is creating a class opera. Students help create the music and lyrics, tying it to a book or fable and then they perform the opera.

“They’re kids that look so incredibly shy, and then they get up and sing to an entire audience and you’re just wowed and blown away,” said Cluff. “I think that really speaks to the courage that these kids have and the opportunities that have been afforded them. That they feel they can excel and feel confident in who they are.”

Highland Park Elementary is at 1738 E. 2700 South in Salt Lake City and has 640 students in grades from kindergarten to sixth along with special education services. The book fair will be in the front lobby.

Scholastic, the publisher, is providing the books. To learn more about the likely books at the book fair and Scholastic book fairs visit