Christmas Reading Promotion

I don’t know about you but by the time Christmas vacation arrived, I was ready for a break from all things library (although I never stopped reading). This was our first week back – kids started yesterday.

I realized I never gave you final update on ourimg_0897 Christmas reading promotion. Over half of our elementary students participated. We had 1806 strips in our chain – 1 1/2 times around the library. Each strip was worth 15 minutes so my 90+ students read 27,090 minutes (451.5 hours). I had 65 img_0895students earn the caramel corn I promised for reading 4 hours in the 4 week period.

Here’s my caramel corn recipe:

Pop corn – about 14 cups and place in a baking pan (I use a 1/2 sheet pan)


3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup margarine

3T light corn syrup

… and cook to hard ball stage (250 at sea level).


1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t vanilla

food coloring

Stir and pour over popped corn. Bake at 250 for 10 minutes, stir and bake for 5 minutes more.

Pour out onto waxed paper. When cool I put mine in 5 gallon buckets. I alternate red and green and they mix themselves when I bag them.

I had also promised the teachers a pound of fudge if they had 100% of their students achieve the goal – 2 did this year.

Here is my fudge recipe:


3/4 cup Blue Bonnet margarine

3 cups white sugar

6 oz. evaporated milk

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook until it reaches soft ball stage (234 for sea level) continuing to stir constantly. Remove from heat add 2 cups of chocolate chips (can also substitute white chips, peanut butter chips, or butterscotch chips). Stir until melted. Quickly add 1 teas of vanilla and a small jar (7 oz) of Marshmallow Creme. Stir until smooth. You can also add nuts at this point if you’d like. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and allow to cool. This recipe makes 2.5 – 3 pounds.


When we took the chain down, my helpers insisted on being buried in the pile before we bagged them up. It is fun to see the big pile they made.

Here’s too a longer chain next time around.


It’s not too late. You can still sign up for my mailing list and get a freebie – a document you can edit to make my Christmas promotion idea your own.


Amazon Affiliate Links for items mentioned

Tatuo 200 Pieces Christmas Cookie Bags Cellophane Treat Bags Snowflake Clear Candy Bag Gifts Goodies Bags with Self Adhesive Seal, 5.5 by 5.5 Inch
Update International (NJP-1002) 2-1/2″ Full-Size Anti-Jam Steam Table Pan
Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popcorn Kernels, Original Yellow, 8 lb
C&H, Cane Sugar, Golden Brown, 2lb Bag (Pack of 2)
Karo Light Corn Syrup, 128-Ounce
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 5 Lbs
Simply Organic Vanilla Flavoring, 4 Ounce
McCormick Green Food Color, 1 fl oz
McCormick Red Food Color, 1 fl oz
C&H Pure Cane Granulated White Sugar, 1 lb (Pack of 2)
Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk 12 Oz. (4 Pack)
Nestle Toll House Semi-sweet Chocolate Morsels 12oz (Pack of 3)
Kraft Jet-Puffed MARSHMALLOW CREME 7oz. (6 Pack)

Thanks for using my affiliate links which help support this library blog.

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