"There was such enthusiasm about the books and the event!"
11th May 2016
"I have been working as an Usborne Organiser for around 18 months and during this time, my confidence and business has really grown.
I ran my first sponsored reading event with my daughter's school in June 2015. The school were very happy with the funds raised and agreed to run a sponsored read again over World Book Day 2016.
The school I was working with is a cluster school, so it was agreed we would run the sponsored read over a week and in all three schools to see what could be achieved. We made sure we put our plans into place early and spent time promoting it in newsletters at least a month before the intended start date. We also ensured all sponsorship forms were sent out early and that the children had these prior to the half term break (as this gave them more opportunity to request friends and family to sponsor them).
During the week of World Book Day, I attended all three schools to set up a book fair and used this time to promote the sponsored read to both the parents and children within the school. I also ran school assemblies and 'story time' for the children.
The response was outstanding. There was such enthusiasm about the books and the event. I ensured I spent time talking to parents about Usborne and the benefits for the school and its pupils.
After completing the sponsored reading event (or Ready, Steady, Read), I waited with anticipation for the results! Although three schools were involved, they are all small and I was not expecting a brilliant final figure. However, I was overjoyed when the results came in and over £1500 had been raised! The Headteacher was very happy and I am now ready and waiting to deliver lots of lovely Usborne books to the schools.
This success demonstrates to me that anyone can achieve great results with a little bit of determination. Even though this was my daughter's school, it still took a lot of correspondence with emails and phone calls.
My first piece of advice is to never give up. When a school sees the potential they will find it hard to ignore you.
Secondly, running an event for a second time at the same school can have excellent results. The children and parents would have seen the previous success and will want to see how many more free books they could add to the library!
Thirdly, make the most of school fairs, assemblies and story time to promote the event to the children and parents and be open to explaining the benefits to the school and the pupils.
And lastly, be confident - anyone can achieve success. I never believed I would be in a position to place a school order for over £1500, but with perseverance and increased confidence, I have managed to!"
Thank you for sharing your story and some amazing advice, Chrissie. We hope that lots of other Organisers can learn from your positive experience.