The Balkin Buddies Blog Catherine Balkin's Facebook
 

JENNIFER ARMSTRONG

BIOGRAPHY I BOOKS I PRESENTATIONS I BOOK ORDERING

SCHOOL VISIT BASICS

Jennifer Armstrong's presentations to schools are PowerPoint programs on a variety of subjects, including Antarctica, the research process, and a general "how I write books and what being an author is like" presentation. Her PowerPoint programs include sessions on "Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World" and "Antarctica " (grades 4+), and "How I Write Books and Get them Published" (available at 3 levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-adult).

  

If you've never had an "Author's Day" before, here's how it works: Group the students by age into 3 groups. If you have morning and afternoon kindergarten, sprinke them among the older children. The K's will benefit from hearing the older students' questions. Before "Author's Day," have all the kids read one of her books (or have someone read a book to them). Some schools sell the books ahead of time for autographing on "Author's Day."

 

Please provide the date you'd like her to come, plus a couple alternative dates in case she's not free your first choice. A snow date may be chosen as well, if necessary. Once a date scheduled, a confirmation letter will be sent.

 

You may wish to consider sending an order form (a list of the books) home with each student well ahead of time. It's wise to order books 4-6 weeks in advance.

 

IN-SERVICE WRITING WORKSHOPS FOR TEACHERS

 

If you'd like an in-service writing workshop for teachers after school, count that as one of the three presentations of the day. The in-service writing workshop is a mini-course on creative writing and covers specific writing exercises that teachers can use with their students in class. This session is about an hour and a half long.

CONFERENCES

For conferences, Jennifer Armstrong can do break-out sessions or keynote talks to audiences of any size.

 

EQUIPMENT NEEDS

 

She requires a laptop with CD-Rom, a data projector, and a room that can be darkened. If the room is a large one, she'll need a microphone.

 

NUMBER OF SESSIONS PER DAY

 

She will do a maximum of three presentations a day, plus autographing.

 

LENGTH OF EACH PRESENATION AND GRADE LEVEL

 

She'll speak to any grade level and does not have a maximum audience size. Each session is usually about 30-60 minutes (depending on audience age), including time for Q&A. She speaks to all ages: from K to YA to adult groups. 

 

HONORARIUM:

 

For schools: $1,800 a day, plus expenses, but a discount is available to any out-of-New York-state school that lines up a second school/second day on the same trip.

For conferences: $2,500, plus expenses, but a discount is available to any out-of-New York-state conference that lines up a school visit on the same trip.

 

For further information, especially about the expenses (travel, hotel, and meals), click the "Arrange An Appearance" button and see "General Information on the Cost of an Author Appearance" as well as the 'Honorariums' section near the bottom of "How to Plan an Author Appearance."

AUTHOR DAY CHECKLIST

 

__Confirmation letter received;

__Invoice/check request/payment paperwork completed and check made out to author;

__Travel arrangements confirmed, as needed;

__Directions sent, as needed;

__Schedule finalized;

__Author's books displayed in media center;

__Students have read the author's book (or have had one read to them);

__Books ordered (or arrangements made with a bookstore);

__Books sorted and checked against orders;

__Autographing slips or post-its filled out and put in books;

__Lunch arrangements made;

__Program room set up with appropriate equipment;

__All teachers are given final schedule.

 

REFERENCES

 

Deborah Taylor

Enoch Pratt Free Library

400 Cathedral St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

tel. 410 396 5356

email dtaylor@epfl.net

Connie Rockman

79 Elmhurst Ave.

Stratford, CT 06614

tel. 203 381 9509

email connie.rock@snet.net

Jean Brown

Rhode Island College

tel. 401-734-9343

email jebrown612@earthlink.net

Walter M. Lewis

Mount Vernon Middle School

298 Martinsburg Road

Mount Vernon, OH 43050

tel. 740-392-6867

email wlewis@mt-vernon.k12.oh.us

"Our students...were impressed with a special PowerPoint presentation she gave for each grade level of our student body. Her presentation was age appropriate and I thought the students related very well to the ideas she presented. The students were extremely attentive during her 45 minute presentation.... Many teachers spoke very highly about her visit. They thought she was a great author to have visited our school and like her presentation as well. Teachers commented that they thought Jennifer should come back....

Walter M. Lewis, Mount Vernon Middle School, Mount Vernon, OH

Ann Hebert

Library Teacher

Shenendehowa Central School District

Acadia Middle School

970 Route 146

Clifton Park, NY 12065-3685

"On the day of her visit, she kept the students engaged the whole time and the fortunate students who ate lunch with her enjoyed their casual discussion. Our teachers were so pleased with this event that they've requested another day with her again this year. She's an easy and pleasant personality to work with and I felt, from the students' perspective, her visit was time well spent."

Ann Hebert, Acadia Middle School, Clifton Park, NY