Of course, that's the (slightly) cynical take on the day. The actual reason I always like the event is that we get an excellent sample of the best clubs and activities from the entire high school. The Senior and Junior Classes work as organizers, dress up as princesses and superheroes, and read to kids. The Preschool classes put on puppet shows, the Art Honor Society handles the face-painting, while the Lit Guild hosts an hour long discussion (this year to promote the story behind the musical). Our ESL classes always turn out in force with a cultural display, and this year the Drama and French clubs also jumped in with some crafts and performances. And, while there's some prodding involved, all students are doing this on strictly volunteer basis. The clubs themselves make no money and high school kids willingly wake up early on a Saturday simply to hang out at a book store and run activities for kids. It's really a great example of the best of the school on display. Not only that, the staff always shows up to support the event, bringing their own children to participate in the activities, and purchasing gifts and novels to support the library program. A combination of capitalism, altruism, academics, and literacy...it doesn't get much better than that.
I was pleased to help "organize" the event this year as the Senior Class stepped up as one of the co-sponsors, though I use that term loosely since the flowers essentially arranged themselves. Aside from a few emails, phone calls, and personal requests, the students, clubs, and activities all took care of themselves. Just like with good teaching, you know you've got great students when all you have to do is give them a nudge, and they take it from there.