June 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Get $500 to Spend at the Scholastic Book Store. Here’s how.

Burleson reads a picture book to first graders. Courtesy of Todd Burleson/ Hubbard Woods School

Burleson reads a picture book to first graders.
Courtesy of Todd Burleson/ Hubbard Woods School

We had plenty of great reasons to pick Todd Burleson, library media specialist at the Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka, IL, as SLJ‘s 2016 School Librarian of the Year. This is more proof that he’s quite a guy.

Burleson is giving away his entire $2,500 prize to help those less fortunate than he is, in the form of five $500 awards. The announcement on his blog appears below.

“I look at this as part of my mission to bring resources to all students,” Burleson told SLJ. “I’m grateful that Scholastic is supporting [my] unique use of the award…$500 isn’t a lot, but hopefully, it will make a difference in five schools.”

Those who still want to enter have until March 1. So far, there have been 44 entries for the five prizes. “I’d love to have more entries!” says Burleson. “I’m eager to hear about how the winners use the funds in their schools.”

Last year I was named the 2016 School Library Journal’s School Librarian of the Year. It was one of the proudest moments of my teaching career. One of the incredible components of the award was $2,500 to spend at the Scholastic Book Store. I am fortunate to work in a district that believes in and supports my mission as a school librarian. My library is well-funded and properly staffed. Because of this, I wanted to do something different with the Scholastic funds. I’ve decided that I will donate them to five schools in need; each school will be awarded $500.

The most democratic way I could come up for distributing these funds is to create a Rafflecopter page. Here’s how it works: if you tweet about the contest and/or leave a comment on the blog, you will receive an “entry” in the raffle. On March 1, the Rafflecopter “engine” will randomly choose five lucky recipients. The more entries you have, the better your chances. So, go ahead and submit an entry on behalf of your school or a deserving school you know about. Share with as many folks as you can and I can’t wait to see how this turns out!  Good luck!


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Christina Vercelletto About Christina Vercelletto

Christina Vercelletto is School Library Journal’s former news editor. An award-winning writer and editor, Vercelletto has held staff positions at Babytalk, Parenting, Scholastic Parent & Child, and NYMetroParents.com.



  1. Awesome!

  2. Would love to earn $500 for my school library! THANKS for the opportunity.