The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 28, 2002


Student carnival helps school library fund make its goal

Thanks partly to the efforts of some very active and enthusiastic elementary school children, the Carlisle School will keep its library.

When fourth graders Hillary Cook and Annie King learned of a planned scaleback in library hours due to school budget cuts as a result of the failed override at the town elections in May, they took action. They sent a letter to superintendant Davida Fox-Melanson and scheduled a visit to propose a school carnival fundraiser. "They felt it was just so important to have the library," says Hillary's mom Marion Cook. "(School librarian) Sandy Kelly is so well-liked, and they didn't want her to leave." When Fox-Melanson spoke of the carnival idea at a meeting of the Carlisle School Committee, the Mosquito reported on the initiative, and soon sign-up sheets were flying around the school.

Annie King (left) and Hillary Cook, who suggested the fundraiser, sell tickets for the carnival.

The carnival took place on Spalding Field on June 19, the day after school ended. "This was a totally grass-roots, BYO operation," says Cook. "There was just a tremendous outpouring of help." Each volunteer was responsible for a table and provided all the equipment needed for her activity. "The kids came with their own ideas — there's nothing like the imagination of a fourth grader." Activities included a moonwalk, radar pitch, balloon toss, races, face and nail painting, and a jail, in which assistant principal Steve Goodwin was seen incarcerated. Along with the fourth graders, students from kindergarten to high school age ran tables.

The sack race was a popular event at the carnival for the school library. (Photo by Mike Quayle)
Mr. Goodwin, assistant principal, in "jail" at the student carnival.

With hundreds of attendees, over $4700 was raised for the library. At the end, the Carlisle Education Foundation, which helped support and promote the carnival, with due ceremony colored in the library goal thermometer sign at the school to show the addition of the carnival funds. A cheer rose as the kids saw that their contribution put the library fund over the $50,000 needed to keep the library at full hours.

Most important, the carnival was kid-driven. "It was their idea; they got their friends psyched, and it snowballed from there," says Cook. "They had a blast. Most of all, they had a real sense that they were making a contribution... They showed they really care about the school library and are willing to do what it takes to keep it."


2002 The Carlisle Mosquito