Birthday Books

Celebrate your child’s birthday by giving the gift of reading. Make a lasting contribution, in your child’s name, to our school library.

Get Started Today!

SIGN UP online via RevTrak at our PTO Web Store.

Your payment helps provide a selection of Birthday Books throughout the school year. Extra donations help purchase Birthday scholarships. Join us in contributing to our library and help your child leave a lasting and significant legacy.

How it Works

Donate $15 per child to the Birthday Books program. During your child’s birthday month, they will visit the Port to choose from a selection of pre-purchased books. These books come highly recommended and are needed titles in our library. A bookplate signed by your child will be attached on the inside front cover to mark your child’s contribution, and they will be the first person to check out the book!

Frequently Asked Questions About Minnewashta’s Birthday Books Program

Why Birthday Books?

The Minnewashta PTO’s Birthday Book Program was launched in the Fall of 2013. The goal is to celebrate each student’s birthday with the lasting gift of reading and to achieve the following objectives:

  • Eliminate the disparity in the types of birthday “treats” brought to classrooms.
  • Minimize exposure to food allergens
  • Improve the quantity and variety of books available in the Port.

How does it work?

Parents donate $15 per child to the program via the PTO webstore. During your child’s birthday month, participating students choose a book from the Port’s special Birthday books collection.  Student’s will be assisted as needed in finding a book that matches their interests and will sign and attach a bookplate marking their special day on the inside front cover.  Based on teacher discretion, students and/or their special guest may wish to read the book, or an excerpt, to the class during reading time.

When will my child get to select their birthday book at the Media Center?

There will be a “Birthday books station” open 2x/month in the Port around the beginning and middle of the month.  Teachers will receive either a personalized e-mail message or a notice in their mailbox before the station is open letting them know who in their class is signed up to participate with a birthday that month, and the specific day/time window to send the student to the Port.  If for some reason a student is unable to go to the Birthday books station when it is open, their teacher will continue to get notified for each following station until the Birthday book is received.

Does my child get to permanently keep the birthday book they select?

No, this program is designed as a donation program to continually increase the availability of new books to the school library.  Your child will, however, be the first person to check out the book and the special nameplate they create will reflect their contribution.  The book should be returned to the Port after your child is finished reading it and sharing it with their family. 

Do I need to wait until my child’s birthday to sign up in the Webstore?

No, you can sign up for the program at any time during the school year.  Student’s will generally select their Birthday book during their birthday month.

What if our family chooses not to participate?

No problem, the program is completely optional, and teachers generally acknowledge student’s birthdays in other ways in the classroom.  As an alternative, students can also borrow a book from the library to read to their class or donate a gently used book to their teacher’s classroom.

Can our family just purchase a book directly to use for the program?

No, the Port cannot accept outside books. Our media specialists have pre-purchased books from educational sources that address the library’s specific needs.  If you have a book that you think would be beneficial for the Minnewashta library, feel free to contact the Birthday Books chairperson, Michelle Edstrom, and the request can be evaluated in partnership with the media specialists.

Can food be brought to school to celebrate birthdays?

No. If a parent or student brings food to school on a student’s birthday, office staff and teachers will kindly ask them to enjoy the food at home and explain our Birthday Book program.

When will summer/holiday birthdays be celebrated?

Teachers may determine the best time to celebrate birthdays that land on non-school days.  For summer birthdays under the Birthday Books program, students will have the option to select a book on their half birthday, at the end of May, or right away when the program starts at the beginning of the school year.  On the Birthday Books sign up form, parents will have the ability to indicate their preference.

What happens if my child’s birthday already passed and I didn’t sign up, is it too late?

No. You can still sign up using the same process mentioned above. Once you have signed up, your child’s teacher will receive a notice to send them to the next available open Birthday Books station.

Are scholarships available?

Yes. Participating families may contribute additional funds, in any $5 increment amount, to purchase birthday books for others. The school social worker will identify students who could benefit from the generosity of others and will communicate this information directly to teaching staff.

Who can I contact if I have further questions?

Please contact the PTO Birthday Books Chairperson, Michelle Edstrom –