See below for information about School Visits, Childhood Literacy Programs, Educator Programs, and Camp Programs.
One of my favorite parts of writing children's books is visiting schools, libraries, and bookstores. It's always exciting to see the children's faces light up when they meet a 'live' author and in turn it gives me such a lift to know that I might be contributing to the children's love of reading and writing.
I’ve been told I have a talent for connecting with kids of all ages – whether I’m speaking with younger children and keeping their attention and focus, or talking with older kids and making it informative and entertaining (with some humor and occasional 'attitude' thrown in for good measure...!)
My programs are very interactive and I encourage the children to participate. Depending on the program, the younger students will have lots of fun guessing jellybean riddles from my book, The Giant Jelly Bean Jar, or they'll learn a variety of ways to handle their emotions - with the help of lively puppets - based on my books in the Everyone Feels series.
Older students will enhance their own writing with my Creative Concepts writing program, or they can learn how I research and write non-fiction based on my new series of graphic Healthy You nutrition books.
See my school programs below -
MY LIFE AS AN AUTHOR - Grades K-8
Assembly program or for smaller groups. With lots of story character props like crazy hats, a grandmothers quilted blanket, a basketball from a student-teacher basketball game, etc., I talk about my life as an author, how I get my story ideas, the people that work together to make a book, as well as rejections, persistence, and more.
---- This program is about 45 minutes.
CREATIVE CONCEPTS - What's YOUR Story? Grades 3-6
With idea-generating exercises and the power of their imaginations, the students get very involved creating and writing their own stories. We talk about the beginning, middle, turning point, and end of stories, as well as vocabulary choices, description, dialogue, show-don't-tell, and more. Students keep the writing packet which includes story idea sheets, writing tips, and young author resources to learn more about the writing and publishing process.
--- This program is about 1 hour
New! CREATIVE CONCEPTS - What's YOUR Story? Grades 1-2
With engaging activities and simple models from my own stories, students will develop and enhance skills to create and write their own personal nonfiction narratives or imaginative fiction stories.
--- This program is about 1 hour
HEALTHY BODY HEALTHY MIND - Grades 2-6
This program combines information on writing nonfiction and the research of my healthy food graphic chapter books. The children will see my drafts and revisions, learn why I chose certain vocabulary and topics, and discover my process of conveying the information in an orderly sequence. The students will also have fun with my 'Fact or Fiction Food Guessing Game'.
--This program is about 1 hour.
LAUGH, CRY, SMILE ... TRY - Grades PreK - 2
Based on my books, Everyone Feels Scared Sometimes and Everyone Feels Sad Sometimes (and two other books in the series about feeling happy and angry), young children will learn a variety of productive ways to express their feelings. With amusing puppets, lively reading, and animated exercises, the children will also learn empathy for other people's feelings. This presentation has been praised by educators for tying into their anti-bullying programs.
----This program is about 45 minutes
STORY FUN - Grades PreK -2
Assembly program or for smaller groups. The children help me 'read' my stories and have lots of fun acting out with bear puppets and guessing jelly bean rhymes (and sometimes they come up with their own rhymes!) There is a lot of interaction and in-place movement.
----This program is about 45 minutes.
*** NUMBER OF PRESENTATIONS: Up to 4 presentations (plus optional book-signing session) for a full day visit. (Local half-day and single session visits can also be arranged.)
*** NUMBER OF STUDENTS: I can do assembly-style presentations as well as full grades, combinations of grades and single classrooms of students.
If you are interested in learning more about my school visits, including fees and scheduling, please e-mail me.
Family Literacy Nights
Developing and fostering children's literacy skills is a team effort between teachers and parents. I'll provide easy and engaging ways to weave literacy throughout a family's busy day - which in turn will impact children's literacy skills at school. Many activities can also be used in the classroom and for family literacy nights.
Program can be geared to educators or directly to parents/families, with a general scope of literacy activities from pre-readers to preteens or targeted to specific age groups.
-- Create a stimulating home reading environment
-- Fun activities to encourage reading from pre-readers to preteens
-- Reading on the go
-- The role of dogs (yes dogs!) and other proven methods to help struggling readers
-- Help children generate ideas for stories they will want to write
-- Creative activities to improve writing skills
-- Using children's favorite TV shows, video games, and music as impetus for writing
-- Online and printed resources for children who like to write (and also for those who like to draw) so they can learn more about the writing and publishing process
Do You Have a Great Idea for a Children's Book or Want to Learn More About the Publishing Process for Yourself or Your Students?
Teachers are in an ideal position to write children's books. I'll show teachers and other educators the process of creating and writing educational and trade books. Workshop will cover idea conceptualization, manuscript drafts, editorial feedback, revisions, and final books. I'll share information about the publishing market - how to research publishers and editors, submitting proposals, royalties vs. flat fees, and brainstorming to see what educational books and supplemental material could enhance the learning for your students.
Get Your Students
Excited about Writing!
How many times have you asked your students to write a story or give them a writing task and they say they say they have NOTHING to write about? Surprise them with all they DO have to write about - and give them the tools they'll need to make their writing come to life!
I'll share tips on generating all kinds of writing. With lively, active exercises, the students will discover the importance of the story arch, vocabulary choices, description, dialogue, 'show don't tell' - plus lots more. The skills students learn writing stories they care about will carry over to expository writing and other writing coursework.
I am available for teacher in-service days and group/conference workshops. Contact me for more details.
Fun in the Sun
My camp presentations feature a variety of imaginative and lively activities, while fostering reading and writing skills in a relaxed, comfortable ‘summer time’ setting. With props like a beach ball and Frisbee, along with lively guessing games and interactive activities, I can assure that your campers will have fun (and learn something at the same time!)
Activities range from book making to book charades. Contact me for details on my different kinds of camp programs.