Why I LOVE visiting schools…
I am a lover of the arts, of literature, and of sparking new and bold ideas! I’ll never forget the first week of kindergarten. Our teacher, who I adored, introduced us to our school library. I looked around, through rows and rows of books, wonderstruck by the smell, the perfectly lined volumes, and the thought that my imagination was just a few words away from being swept into a whole new world. I mean, after I learned to read, of course. It was this same year a true, award-winning author visited our school.
After that, I was hooked, both on books and the thought that one day I too could be an author. All these (many) years later, I am passionate about passing along the gifts that were given to me as a child. One of my greatest joys as an author is visiting schools, encouraging kids to love to read, and working with students. When children are engaged with someone outside the classroom norm, magic seems to occur. Suddenly, they remember they are readers, writers, and that dreams are nothing more than passion and goals in waiting. After all, my overall message is: “Practice Makes Progress,” because perfection is boring and what do you have to work for if you achieve it?
We will work together to create the best schedule for your needs. No two schools are the same. Therefore, each schedule will be crafted to meet your needs. Please allow a minimum of 10 minutes between presentations. For Skype calls, we’ll disconnect as classes are shifted and we’ll rejoin when ready.
For pricing, questions, and/or to arrange a visit, please click here: Contact me.
Sessions: 3 presentations, more available if needed.
Program Length: 45-50 minutes. 30 minutes for Kinder and 1st.
Audience: Any size. Younger kids do better in smaller groups.
Schedule and Cost: If you’d like to invite me to your school, please contact me for schedule and pricing. Out of town travel is available if travel expenses are pre-arranged. Skype visits are available, too. See below.
Program Basics – Kinder & First Grades
Kindergartens and First Graders will be enchanted by an interactive hour of fun. We work out the wiggles, join hands and make a circle and I step inside. Why? Because, while I read, “Ranger & Keys” the students have to help me act it out. Popcorn words are handed out. You know, words that "POP UP!" frequently in reading and writing. Those critical words that readers must develop automatic recognition fluency are placed on oversize signs and used throughout the reading. Other students will be assigned character role allowing us to bring the story to life before their eyes. Afterwards, we talk about the students’ favorite part, the lesson of the book, and how it made them feel. After which, we discuss the very basics of writing, answer questions, and talk about the idea of “practice makes progress” with reading, with school work, and with life. It truly is a memorable time.
The Young Authors Workshop (2nd through 5th)
If a digital projector is available, I start by telling my personal story as an author. I explain how books come to be, what I do each day, and the basics of writing. This is an excellent add-on to any writing unit. Together we craft a show-and-tell environment through our stories. After working our way through a writing exercise, students are asked to volunteer to read their writing aloud. Those who do are entered to win a copy of one of my books. The drawing is done at the end of all presentations that same day. We also work to do a round-robin story set-up. We talk about showing and not telling while crafting a story. We talk about present and past tense. At the end of my program, students are given ample time to ask questions and make comments. I then sign and personalize books.
Writers Workshop (6th through 12th)
This is a higher level and more in-depth scope of the Young Writer’s Workshop. Students are given a chance to submit their work prior to my arrival. One lucky student from each workshop will have their work displayed and used during the workshop due to its excellent. They also receive a signed certificate of writing excellent from the Writers Workshop program. Each student chosen to have their work used during the workshop will also entered to win a signed copy of one of my books. The winner is presented at the end of the collective workshops.
Not all districts/schools have the budget to afford a day with an author. Children should be afforded this experience regardless of a school’s operating budget. Skype is the perfect opportunity. My office is equipped with the professional tools to accommodate your school’s set-up. The author course will be sent before our scheduled Skype call. Instructions will be sent when to have the course up verse when the children should be seeing the author. The fees for the Skype course is greatly reduced. Book sales are offered in the same manner.
Book Sale & Signing
Book ordering is easy if you start early—at least six to eight weeks before my visit to your school. This can be done through Follett, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, a local bookstore teamed with your school/district, and/or my publisher. This should allow plenty of time for ordering and delivery.