School and Skype Visits
“I want kids to recognize the richness in their lives, and glimpse how they can transform their experiences into exciting stories that have meaning for them.”
When my family and I spent a year in Italy, I took a bus every day up to a little mountain town above Florence, where I hiked up a trail past an elementary school. As I passed by, I could see the basketball net in the gym and hear children laughing and shouting behind the high stone wall. During that year we were away, the school became a symbol to me of one of the things I love most about being a children’s book author-visiting schools, meeting my readers (and sometimes even my characters!) and talking to kids about writing. They may be surprised to learn that writing is not about the words. It’s about writing a story that only you can tell. The words come later!
In an exciting interactive presentation, I illustrate what I was thinking about when I was growing up, the ways my imagination got me into trouble (it wasn’t always considered a gift!), the small everyday things that inspire me, and my unconventional research methods.
Ideas come from the way you look at things-small things, funny things, failures and mistakes. I want kids to recognize this richness in their own lives, and glimpse how they can transform their experiences into stories that have meaning for them. And hopefully their stories won’t put people to sleep!
“We consider Pamela Jane the most student-oriented author we have hosted to date…Pamela masterfully draws her own life into her talk with slides of herself as a child and young adult, and with explanations of how she finds her story ideas in real life.”—Alice H. Kurtas, Reading Specialist, Perkiomen Valley So. Elementary School
Planning a Successful Visit
- Plan and schedule the school visit in advance.
- Have my books available in the library and classrooms. My visit will have much more meaning for the kids if they are familiar with my books.
- Have the children do a project that relates to my books. The more psyched the kids are about the author’s visit, the richer the visit will be for them.
- I will send an order form ahead of my visit and help you with how to order my books. Send this home with the children at least four weeks before my visit to give the parents time to choose a book, and the PTO or librarian time to coordinate orders and collect money.
In addition, I will:
- Do a 45-minute assembly presentation for grades pre-K-2. I use props and an informative and entertaining Power Point program to illustrate where I get my ideas, the importance of playfulness in writing, and creating picture books.
- For grades 3-6, I do a 45-minute assembly presentation and engaging and colorful Power Point program about what it’s really like to be a children’s book author, and how I create chapter books and books for older readers.
- Sign books before or after school, or during lunch period.
The School or PTO will provide:
- Author’s fee for a one-day visit – $1000 (or $1,200 if your school is more than two hours from my home.)
- Power Point projection screen, and a room that can be darkened (I will bring my laptop.)
- Cart for computer
- Large table for books and props
- Quiet place to sign books during lunch periods
- Allow at least 10 minutes between presentations
Note: My schedule is flexible. I’ll be happy to discuss alternatives to meet student or scheduling needs.
Plan a Skype School Visit
During a Skype visit, the students will have the opportunity to visit me in my cozy book-lined office, and learn about where I get my ideas and how I transform them into exciting books for children. I will talk about what it’s really like to be an author and reveal the secret of tapping into your love of writing and storytelling. The Skype visit includes a colorful Power Point program and Q&A time.
Honorarium: $350 for 50 minutes.
What Schools Say About Pamela Jane
“The Students appreciated your visit as a role model…you make a difference in the lives of the children you visit at the schools each day.”–Theresa McShane, Media Specialist, Barclay Brook Elementary School.
“We consider Pamela Jane the most student-oriented author we have hosted to date……Pamela masterfully draws her own life into her talk with slides of herself as a child and young adult, and with explanations of how she finds her story ideas in real life. She offers the sources of her story ideas-imagination and memory-as a writing formula that even the youngest student can imitate… In addition to the many complimentary remarks made by staff members, the students were truly delighted with the author’s presentation.” — Alice H. Kurtas, Reading Specialist, Perkiomen Valley So. Elementary School.
“Your program was magical-it brought literature to life! — Mr. Ivankovich, Director of Music, American International School of Florence, Italy
“Your child-oriented program was fantastic! Thank you so much for visiting Leeds Avenue School and for being such an inspiration to both students and staff. Your program encouraged the children to use their imaginations and not get discouraged in their own writing. You truly were one of the best presenters we have ever have here at Leeds Avenue School.” — Joanne Lucier, Media Specialist, Leeds Avenue Elementary School
“Your presentation was so down-to-earth. I loved how your personalized everything and used your life’s experiences as the basis for your story ideas. You related to the children in a warm and loving way, and responded to each child’s question with respect. You were perfectly prepared to speak to any grade level, and your presentation tied into our social studies curriculum, too!” — Nancy Frederick, Second Grade Teacher, Schweitzer Elementary School
“The writing workshops provided a great opportunity for our students to specifically use some of the writing techniques you presented…I believe your program will become a significant memory in many of their own lives!” — Sheryl S. Solow, Ed. D., Principal, Colonial School District
“Your appearance was an astounding success! I think you really charmed the audience …reading aloud from your books had both children and adults totally captivated. Your smile was dazzling, and your rapport with the children couldn’t have been more engaging.” — Diana H. Hazzard, Children’s Librarian
“Thank you so much for your wonderful program and writing workshops…I’ve received rave reviews from the teachers and the children. Many of the students have stopped me in the hall to tell me they have one of your books!” — Diane Greenleaf, Reading Specialist Roosevelt Elementary School
“Our pre-first class loved seeing your books come alive during your program. You inspired us to work really hard with our writing!” — Karole Curtin, Albert Schweitzer Elementary School
“What a wonderful presentation! We have grown as a result of sharing the day with you.” — Peg Wolfe, Reading Specialist, North Penn School district
“Using hand props made the stories come alive for our children. Providing students with writing prompts and varying the activities for different grade levels worked out very well…having a children’s author speak and work with students is the highlight of our program.” — Patrick Rooney, Principal, Jefferson School
“I wanted to let you know how enjoyable it was to meet you and share the day with you during your recent visit to New Hope Solebury Elementary. I loved hearing about how you got started as a writer, what inspires you, and of course all about your life experiences. The children seemed captivated and engaged; I know my daughter and son both loved your stories, and of course they’re enjoying your books!” — Michelle Summerson, HSA Enhancement Committee Co-chair, New Hope Solebury Elementary School