Book Raffles

Book Raffles

During the month of December students were receiving new books every day into their classroom. These books came from friends and family of the teacher. She had posted a plea on her Facebook page asking for new children’s books for her classroom. She was overwhelmed by the response she got from friends, family, old school mates, and a few total strangers. There were enough books to introduce one or two daily to her students for an entire month. The books were brand new, gift wrapped, and with sentimental notes from the giver. The giver expressed their love of reading, why the book was their favorite, or their joy in sharing the book with the students. The teacher would unwrap a book each morning, read the attached note, add comments of her own if she had read the book, and then put the book on a shelf visible to the eyes of the students.

Books that students could choose for the raffle

Students were given raffle tickets as they accomplished their at-home reading and in-class reading assignments. They could accumulate as many tickets as they wanted as they enthusiastically kept up on their reading assignments. The raffle tickets were going towards a big book raffle to be held when they all got back from Christmas break in January.

As extra incentive, the teacher challenged her students to read over the Christmas holidays. She told them that anyone who read more minutes than she did could get two extra raffle tickets. When returning from the holiday break, the teacher was amazed that all her students had beat her in the amount of reading they had done. An avid reader, she was pleasantly surprised that 100% of her students had met her challenge.

The day of the raffle the excitement was palpable. The students had been looking at all those beautiful new books for over a month and many had already picked out which ones they wanted to read the most. Mind you, the books were not being given away, students were competing for the chance of being the first to read them. Raffle tickets were carefully placed in plastic cups in front of each book in terms of the students’ first, second, third, and fourth choices.

Student participating in the book raffle

Students participating in the book raffle

As the teacher conducted the raffle, cheers for those who got first choice were hearty. Students sat on the edge of their seats, jumped up and down when they won, and quickly shared their books with one another as the previewed the pages.


Students asked to take their books home and the teacher reluctantly agreed, but only after the students signed a previously prepared contract stating they would bring the book back within a two-week period in mint condition. Students nodded their head in agreement, eagerly signed the contract, and many made comments similar to one little boy who claimed, “I will bring it back in such good condition, you won’t be able to tell I even read it.”