Books for Ownership

Plan Your Book Celebration Event

Event Checklist

Use this book celebration event checklist to help you in your event planning.

Event Checklist
pdf 476 KB

Order your Books

After sending in your Getting Starting Form, you will receive specific directions on how to order your books for your book celebration event(s). Please note that each book is $3. When ordering your books consider:

  • The number of books you are allocating per child.
  • The option to order a cushion of extra books to ensure every child, whether choosing their books first or last, has a choice in his or her selection.
  • Providing ample time to process your book request and receive the books. We suggest all book orders are placed a minimum of four weeks prior to an event.
  • For more information, please review the RIF Bookstore Guide. 
  • If you are unable to locate a certain type or genre of book that you would like to offer, please let us know at literacynetwork@RIF.org.
Bookstore Guide
pdf 8 MB

Consider Additional Event Costs

In addition to the book purchase costs, when developing your program budget and fundraising to support your efforts, consider potential, additional costs including:

  • Ordering extra books to ensure all children have a choice in their book selection(s). Often our program sites order about an extra 10% of books based on the number of books determined per child to ensure that every child has a choice in his or her book selection.
  • Incremental activities incorporated into your book celebration event(s)
  • Event site/venue fees
  • Author appearance fee
  • Refreshments
  • Signage (event banners, posters)
  • Publicity

Set Event Dates

Schedule your book celebration event date(s) with ample time to publicize the event so parents and other local school and community leaders have the opportunity to attend and participate.

Choose Event Venue

Select the location for your book celebration event(s) and take into consideration venue costs (if any), hours available (including time for set-up and clean-up), space to accommodate the expected number of children as well as space for book display tables and activities. Make sure to follow approval procedures associated with different types of locations. Below are some suggested event locations that are well-suited for a Books for Ownership book celebration event.

  • School gymnasium
  • School cafeteria
  • School or public library
  • Community center
  • Outdoor venue such as a park

Choose Event Theme (optional)

Consider selecting a theme to help guide the planning of your book celebration event. A theme can provide structure for your motivational activities, event décor, and even the student book offerings. Examples of possible themes and related RIF resources include “Under the Sea,” “Fly Into Summer With Reading,” and “It’s a Jungle Out There.”

Assign Volunteer Responsibilities for Event Day

Reach out to your volunteers and assign each a specific task(s) for the book celebration event. Plan to offer a brief orientation prior to the event to review roles. Volunteer support may include:

  • Setting up/breaking down event space (decorations, tables, etc.)
  • Sorting books by grade level or theme as needed and putting on display
  • Replenishing book distribution table(s)
  • Assisting children with their book selections
  • Helping children write their names in their books
  • Assisting with crowd flow around tables
  • Overseeing motivational activity including crafts, experiments, or other hands-on, experiential learning
  • Discussing book selections with the children and asking them if they’d like to sit down and read the book together
  • Taking pictures to capture the experience (don’t forget to get parental permission for any photos later used to showcase the event) and share with RIF at literacynetwork@RIF.org.
Photo Release Form
pdf 263 KB

Create and Implement Publicity Plan

Offering a Books for Ownership program in your school or community is a true opportunity to impact children, inspire them to read, and engage them in a lifelong passion for reading and for them to benefit from the power of literacy. Communicate to your parents, community, elected officials, and local literacy advocates about your specific Books for Ownership activities. This outreach raises awareness and may even help secure additional volunteers and fundraising dollars for future efforts.


To help you in this area, RIF provides a customizable template for the following communication resources:

Book Celebration Press Release Template
docx 16 KB
Book Celebration Event Take Home Letter
docx 607 KB
Book Celebration Social Media Toolkit
pdf 1 MB

Prepare Event Signage and Materials

Brand the event with ‘Reading Is Fundamental’ to showcase your support of our collective mission to help all children learn to read and thrive. We invite you to use the RIF logo for an event banner, poster, book bin sign, and even book plates or stickers. Or, we offer customizable templates to download and print including:

Bookmark (printer ready)
pdf 346 KB
Bookmark (color to print on your own)
pdf 321 KB
Bookmark (black and white to print on your own)
pdf 316 KB
Bookplates (printer ready)
pdf 358 KB
Bookplates (color to print on your own)
pdf 858 KB
Bookplates (black and white to print on your own)
pdf 825 KB
Sticker (printer ready)
pdf 396 KB
Sticker (color to print on your own)
pdf 534 KB
Sticker (black and white to print on your own)
pdf 330 KB
Flyer (printer ready)
pdf 363 KB
Flyer (color to print on your own)
pdf 330 KB
Flyer (black and white to print on your own)
pdf 317 KB
Poster (printer ready)
pdf 391 KB
Poster (color to print on your own, letter size)
pdf 340 KB
Poster (color to print on your own, legal size)
pdf 342 KB
Poster (black and white to print on your own, legal size)
pdf 330 KB
Poster (black and white to print on your own, legal size)
pdf 332 KB

Prepare Motivational Activities

Getting books into the hands of children is the priority of Books for Ownership. In addition, this program encourages, engages, and motivates strong reading habits through the inclusion of motivational reading activities to incorporate into the event(s). Some examples include:

  • Read-Alouds: One of the tried and true reading activities at Books for Ownership events is the guest read-aloud. This provides an ideal opportunity for someone from the school or community (such as a teacher, parent, local author, elected official, business or community leader) to provide a highly engaging experience. The most effective read-alouds are interactive, involving the students asking questions about the book being read.
  • Costumes: Encouraging children to dress up as their favorite story character creates a highly interactive opportunity for them to discuss the books they have read. Having educators and parents participate and also dress up reinforces how literacy is a shared experience that transcends age.
  • Arts & Crafts: Setting up stations with arts and crafts materials can provide a great outlet for students to express themselves before, during, or after the event. These types of activities are especially supportive of visual learners, providing them a way to describe or show what they have gleaned from a story or book.

Please review our Motivational Activities Guide for more ideas.

Motivational Activities Guide
pdf 1 MB