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Ben Mikaelsen's Presentations:

POSITIVE TEACHING METHODS: Adult/Educator Workshops, 1-2 hours. Audience: any size. Ben's travels have taken him from elite private schools and large inner city schools to Athabascan villages in the Yukon. These experiences have brought him to ask how we can create positive children in a negative world. He examines 3 questions educators need to ask: What are we teaching? Why are we teaching? How are we teaching? During this motivational and thought provoking presentation, Ben examines the greatest challenge that educator's face: How to help children become the authors of their own lives.

WORKING WITH AT-RISK STUDENTS: Adult/Educators Workshops, 1-2 hours. Audience: any size. Ben discusses his difficulties as a child learning to read and write English as a second language. Growing up in South American boarding schools gave Ben first hand experience with educational systems where rote knowledge and absolute discipline were revered. Thirty years of escaping the attitudes and limitations instilled during this rigid period gave Ben a new perspective on education. His insights will help teachers and librarians to better understand the needs of their At-Risk students.

CENSORSHIP: Educators Workshops or Grades 9-12, 1 hour. Audience: any size. From an author's viewpoint, Ben discusses his experiences and insights into the censorship issue. How does it effect the writer, the educator, and most importantly, the child's education?

RESEARCH - FINDING THE HEART OF A STORY: Keynote speech for Conferences, Luncheons, Dinners, etc. 60-75 minutes. Audience: any size. Ben discusses the challenges faced in creating books. A slide presentation allows a view into Ben's research as he tries to uncover the "heart of a story." These experiences include raising a 750-pound black bear, living with the homeless, working with dolphins, attending Space camp, going undercover with Drug Enforcement Agents and living with the Maasai in Africa. The diversity of Ben's writing and research is what has made his books so appealing to students. This is a presentation that is both informative and entertaining.

WRITING WORKSHOP: Adults or Grades 3-6 or 6-12, 1 hour. Audience: limited to 50. Good writing requires good storytelling. In a humorous, hands-on way, Ben teaches methods and techniques to help a story come alive. His goal is to help students come away with a better understanding of how to create a stronger story. This talk is aimed at the student who already loves to write and tell stories.

HOW TO TELL YOUR OWN STORY: Grades K-2, 50 minutes. Audience: limited to 100 students. Through play acting and slides, Ben shares his adventures of raising his bear named Buffy and teaches the children how to tell their own stories.

BECOMING THE AUTHOR OF YOUR OWN LIFE: Grades 3-6 or 6-8, 60-75 minutes. Audience: limited to 250 students. By recounting his own struggles to become a writer, Ben Mikaelsen empowers students to realize their own potential. Ben's goal is to motivate students to try reading and writing on their own. He finishes this talk with a slide show offering a humorous look into a day in the life of an author.  After seeing this program, superintendents in many school districts have hired Ben to present this program to every child in their district because of the effect it has on the student’s lives.

WHO'S REALLY THE TEACHER? Community presentations or keynote speech for Conferences, Luncheons, Dinners, etc. 90 minutes. Audience: any size. Turning kids on to reading and writing means finding what's relevant to their lives. During this program, Ben shares some of the poignant and often humorous lessons he has learned while visiting schools and corresponding with students. *The students have taught me more than I've ever taught them,* he says. *Students are the ones who have created the precious moments that have given me the insights that allow me to pen my novels.*

OTHER: Ben also has other talks that can be tailored to the specific needs of a conference.

Academic year, 2011-2012: $2000.00 per day (U.S. Currency) plus travel and hotel expenses and meals as listed below. ***
Travel expenses: The school is responsible for airfare, rental car (if needed), and if personal vehicle is used, mileage is calculated at 55.5 cents per mile.
Hotel: Clean, quiet, non-smoking room, preferably with an iron.
Meals: $40.00 per day.

**** For schools: honorarium is per day and can include up to three, one-hour presentations plus autographing. The presentations can be in different schools provided sufficient time is allotted for set-up, takedown, lunch and travel between schools. An evening presentation is considered as one of the three allowed per day. Payment of fees is expected on day of appearance - an additional $200.00 fee is agreed to if not paid on day of appearance without prior arrangements.

For conferences:
Academic year, 2011-2012: $2000.00 plus all expenses as noted above. The honorarium may be negotiable and will not be figured by the day. It will be based on the negotiated needs of the whole conference.


SCHOOL VISITS ONLY: Please contact Ben's wife, Connie, at telephone 406-587-3068, to book a school visit.

CONFERENCES AND ANY SUBSEQUENT TIE-IN SCHOOL VISITS: Please contact BalkinBuddies at telephone 718-857-7605 or email her through the Balkin Buddies website to book a conference.

Balkin Buddies only handles school visits for Ben Mikaelsen if they tie in with a conference.

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."