School Visits and Programs
I have always enjoyed reading to children, helping them to experience a story for the first time. Whether it was volunteering at my kids elementary classes to help out, or when I participate in Read Across America events each year, reading and interacting with students is truly a joy.
2011 gave me the opportunity to share my own story with many children in local elementary schools, which made the experience even better. My goal has become to visit as many schools as I can, sharing my story and interacting with students, helping them to understand that they can do anything they put their minds to. In each presentation, I take kids through the 10-year journey of how I put my book together and explain that with patience, persistence, and hard work, they can accomplish their goals also.
While the Christmas Holiday and leaving Santa pizza plays a prominent role in my book, when I visit a school for a presentation, I like to focus on everyone's traditions during the holiday season. I encourage children to share the variety of things they do to celebrate the holiday season.
To help your group enjoy the reading experience, I have created different tools to fit your schools specific needs. Using just the book may work for small group or classroom setting, but becomes less effective as the crowd gets bigger. For medium sized groups, I have the book pages printed in a large format, which allows all the kids to see and experience it better. Large groups can be challenging at times, but to help keep them engaged I put the book into a PowerPoint form so that it can be projected onto a overhead screen. Using these methods allows me to interact with any size group comfortably.
Beyond a simple book reading, I enjoy interactions with the audience, either through discussion of their holiday traditions or a question and answer period. With over 20 years of public speaking experience, I can project myself to allow everyone to comfortably hear me in small to medium group settings. For large group settings, though, I would need a microphone and sound system available.
Previous readings have also included the students singing the No Sweets For Santa song after the book. If this interests you, please inquire for how to get the sheet music in advance for the piano or an MP3 file for your computer, so the kids and I can sing along.
Not Just For Kids
For older audiences, I’ve had the privilege to speak about the experience of creating a story over the years, along with the self-publishing process and promoting the work. I have discussed story creation with middle school audiences and also talked about the comic book industry, which I have over five years experience in.
Let me know the needs of your group and I can create a presentation to fit.