Mesa Grande kindergartner Jacob Aguilera and his mother, Sara Perez, were shocked when they found out Scholastic was giving Aguilera $100 worth of books for him to give to his school library.
On Dec. 8, Aguilera's name was drawn in a raffle when he attended a local Scholastic book sale earlier that day.
"When they called me about Jacob, I was at work so I thought it was an emergency," Perez said.
On Wednesday, Aguilera and the school library were presented with the donation by a Scholastic representative and Clifford, Scholastic's most famous "big red dog."
"It's really cool," said a shy Aguilera, who was also given his own book to keep.
But Aguilera is not the only beneficiary from the annual Scholastic book sale.
For the past 11 years, Scholastic has teamed up with Hesperia's Parent Coordinating Council by creating a book sale that has dedicated itself to raising money towards scholarships for high school seniors within the Hesperia Unified School District. Held in Hesperia High School's cafeteria, the book sale accumulated a record profit of $37,100 — an increase of $6,000 from the previous year. Out of the total revenue, Scholastic will allocate $7,400 towards scholarships.
"It's a great scholarship opportunity for good kids who maybe are not the best students, but are hard workers," said Pat Edwards, a member of the panel that determines the scholarship winners.
Every year, Scholastic provides the district with new books that are sold at half price. Ranging from pre-school books to those for adults, the book sale has continued to grow in popularity every year. Not only was this year the most successful sale in the region's history, but it surpassed every other Scholastic warehouse sale throughout the nation.
"We knew that parents and teachers would come from all over to take advantage of the discounted books, but this is by far the largest book sale we've ever had," said Patty Murbach, a member of the Parent Coordinating Council.
One of the contributing factors that was responsible for the substantial increase in revenue was the decision to change the date of the book sale. In previous years, the event had always been held in February. But with its change to December, the district was able to take advantage of the holiday rush.
"People told me it looked like Black Friday," Murbach said.
The relationship between Scholastic and HUSD seems to be appreciated at all grade levels. Mesa Grande's librarian, Brenda Sewell, did everything she could to advertise the book sale in its preceding weeks.
"It's a fantastic way for teachers to get twice the amount of books for their purchase orders," Sewell said. "We just wanted to make sure we got the word out."