I love visiting schools, though my busy schedule often limits the number of traditional visits I can fit in each year. There are two options for school visits. One is a Traditional School Visit. The other is digital with an online Skype Visit or other online workshop. Both visits have their benefits and drawbacks and both offer students a chance to experience personal interaction with Karma, and meet a real live author. Which visit will work best for your school?
1800/day plus all travel expenses (hotel, airfare, ground fare). A booking includes 4 sessions a day at 30-45 minutes per session. Thirty minute sessions are best for preschoolers and longer sessions can be schedualed for older age groups. For booking five or more days, there is a discount of $200 per day. (A five-day visit would then cost $8,000 instead of $9,000.) All fees can be adjusted depending on the circumstances, such as local school bookings or add on 1/2 day for a single book signing at Book Store or Library.
All travel arrangements must be handled by the ordering agency (no reimbursement bookings). There is a $500/down and a signed contract for a confirmed booking. Contract will be emailed once we agree on details. See Inquirey form at the bottom of the page.
- ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
- I prefer, and give preference to, a minimum of two day bookings.
- Combining visits with other schools and/or districts in the same area are allowed as long as enough travel and preparation time is allotted between presentations.
- Although I present to all age groups, 1st through 4th grades are the most common.
- Presentations for teachers and librarians at conferences and continuing education workshops, combined with book signings are also available, same price.
- Equipment needed: projection system, sound system & screen that are compatible with a windows computer and also a chair and small table.
- Special requests for topics must be agreed upon before the visit or I will give standard presentations.
Age Group Details
For these very young ages my presentations include puppet shows, storytelling, and stuffed animal sharing. I find that the youngest kids respond well to a quick, snappy presentation. I don’t drag them up to my level—rather I get down on their level by sitting on the floor with them and initiating eye contact. I encourage the children to “help” me read each story, and I engage them with very silly humor and (sorry teachers) some yelling. I find that children this young tend to “get lost” in question and answer, so we skip that part. A short PowerPoint presentation with slideshow photos of my home, family and my pets is usually very popular.
For this age group, we begin a more in-depth exploration of the writing process. A puppet show and storytelling is still included, but evaluation of the story genre is expanded. Information is succinct and we begin comparisons that children can relate to (for instance I compare my editors to teachers and the editing process to homework). Students are shown my galley books with original artwork and sketches. Schools have the option of printing out coloring sheet handouts to pass around. Through PowerPoint I show the children what a marked up manuscript looks like, show them scans of sketches and galleys, as well as photo slideshows of my home, family and pets. A short question and answer period brings the presentation to a close.<
For these ages I begin to elaborate on the 1st and 2nd grade presentations. The storytelling and puppets part of my presentation is briefer and information about reading and writing expands. I add details about how students can improve their own stories and I read them some of my silly poetry (think Shel Silverstien) for older students. I pass around original art, use PowerPoint, and provide word search handouts featuring characters from my book. These ages do extremely well with question and answer and get a lot out of the process, so I leave plenty of time for personal interaction.
My silly poetry books for older children, are what engages 5th and 6th graders. The process of how a book is created, is emphasized from the seed of the idea to the final hardcover book. I find that children of these ages dream of being authors themselves. I encourage them to stick to their dreams and share my personal creative workflow. Increasing interaction with these ages increases comprehension. I ask a lot of questions and encourage an exchange of ideas. As a group, we explore the fun/silly process of rewriting a common nursery rhyme into something very ridiculous and hilarious. And of course, I use PowerPoint to illustrate everything and show kids my own home, family, and pets. Handout options include more difficult word puzzles, mad libs, etc…
Junior High/High School
Though my current published books are for the very young I have had excellent experiences teaching to older students. Also, I am writing a YA novel. For older students I read excerpts from the novel and teach a poetry workshop. Via PowerPoint, I explain the editing/writing process and show them my home, family and pets. Older students are hungry for specific information about the arts, artists, and how they might become a part of it. We discuss my favorite young adult and midgrade novels and I encourage participants to share their own favorites. Usually these presentations get pretty lively and the kids have a lot of fun.
Feel free to preorder books for students/teachers. I sign them, but ask that post-it-notes with signing information (names only please) be affixed to each book (in absence of a note I do a general autograph).
I also request a private area (like a teacher’s lounge) be provided for book signings. Public singings with young children tend to be very difficult on everybody—including me, to the teaching staff, to the students who could not afford to buy a book. Thus private spaces for signings usually work better for all.