School Visits
and Poetry Workshops

School Visits:

My presentations are suitable for any age, grownups included.  I've talked to students from
K-8th grade and I have a special program for preschoolers.

I'm extremely flexible when it comes to where I can do presentations: an auditorium, in
classrooms, cafeteria, hallways, even outside in the grass.  If you can get the children there, I
can make it work.  School libraries are especially nice.  Children love being surrounded by books
while listening to an author talk about their books.

I also do a 3-hr. Poetry Workshop and at the conclusion, time permitting, we write a class poem.  
The workshop is geared for 5th and 6th graders, but can be modified for any grade you have in

How to Get the Most Out of my Visit to Your School:

I like to keep the day to four or five presentations.  I could do six if I have to, but I use a lot of
energy in my presentations and I can't really guarantee my voice will last that long.  

Each presentation is about an hour.  Preschool to K, 1/2 hour, if you prefer.  I've done them in 45
minutes, but I cover a lot of ground and 45 minutes is pretty tight, especially when I allow a few
minutes at the end for questions -- I've learned that students love asking questions!

I have several different types of presentations.  Let me know what your needs are and I will
modify it to fit your particular school.

If there are special requests, let me know, i.e., I've worn a personal microphone for hearing
impaired children.

Have the school librarian and teachers read my books to the students before my visit so they will
be familiar with my work.

Please announce my upcoming school visit in the local paper and radio stations.  I can set aside
some time while I'm there for photos and/or interviews.

Send home an introduction about my visit, the book titles, and prices with instructions as to how
to pay for them in advance of my visit.  Be sure to ask who I should autograph their books to.

Give children some fun assignments relating to the poetry in my books to display in their rooms or
hallways the day of my visit.  Schools often have children read a poem over the PA system from
my books each day of the week preceding my visit.

Plan my visit for when writing is a major curriculum focus, i.e., during a Young Authors' Fair,
National Poetry Month (April), Literacy Week, or during preparations for a school writing contest.

If there's a special evening young author celebration and I'm still in town, I'll be glad to pop in.  I
love reading work by aspiring writers!  I'll even donate a book or two as prizes, or maybe for a

I'll be happy to sign books during a prearranged time:  lunch hour, after school, or at any other
time you wish.

I do not allow my presentations to be videotaped, but feel free to take all the photos you want
while I'm there.  And, if you mail some to me, I will use them here on Barking Spiders Poetry!

Equipment Needed:

My needs are simple:  A small table, a chair, an easel with a pad of paper and marker, and a bottle
of water.

For the Poetry Workshop, please add a chalkboard, chalk, and an eraser.  The students should
bring a pencil and pad of paper.

Ordering Books:

I offer a discount to schools and students.  Please contact me a couple of days before my visit to
let me know how many books are pre-ordered so I can bring them with me the day of my school
visit.  (I always bring along extras anyway, just in case).

Other Appearances:

PTA Groups
Poetry Judging
Book fairs
Poetry Writing Workshops (students)
Poetry Writing Workshops (adult education)
Book Talks, Book Clubs
Visits to College Elementary Education Classes
"Over the Hill" Parties
Nursing Homes/Retirement Communities
Charitable Events
Book signings, Promotional Events

These are probably best done as extra events when I'm already going to be in your town for
another reason, such as an author school visit.

Fees for workshops are based on the length of the workshop and how far I have to go to get
there.  I can be flexible.  Call and we can talk about it.

Invite a Children's Poet
to Your School!
CJ School visit

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