Children feel empowered in a world where they usually have no influence. By meeting an author/illustrator or relating to a character in a book, they see possibilities in themselves. When kids meet an author or illustrator, they are inspired that they too might be able to write or illustrate their own story. They feel empowered to make a difference and they are more inclined to WRITE and READ!
Statistics from schoolvisitexperts.com
Alexas O’Neal is an author who created schoolvisitexperts.com This statistic comes from a nationwide survey of over 600 teachers, librarians, administrators and parents.
Top Benefits of an author visit:
1 - Motivates students to read more (91%)
2 – Inspires creativity and expression (75%)
3 – Motivates students to write more (70%)
How to have an author/illustrator visit
Who is your Audience – are they children who read picture books, middle grade or are they adult readers?
What is your Budget – How much can you do to achieve your goal for the visit? Kids can get involved here too! This may determine if it will be an in-person visit or virtual. Local or out of state.
Who is your Support Team - will you be doing set up yourself or do you have a team of people who can help? PTO? Other librarians and or teachers?
Links to find speakers
Authors who do 15-20 minute free Skype visits https://www.katemessner.com/authors-who-skype-with-classes-book-clubs-for-free/
Penguin Authors who do skype visits https://www.penguin.com/school-library/author-appearance-roster
How do I raise funds?
Title 1 Funds- If your school qualifies you may be eligible to apply and put your funding toward an author/illustrator visit.
U.S. Department of Education: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/index.html
Grant Opportunities https: //thebookingbiz.com/2016/08/21-ways-to-fund-author-visits/
•SCBWI Amber Brown Grant Any school may apply.
Submit Nov 1-April 15th, 2020 https://www.scbwi.org/awards/grants/amber-brown-grant/
•Follett Challenge Deadline December 12th, 2019 https://www.follettchallenge.com
•Target Grants- https: //corporate.target.com/corporate-responsibility/philanthropy/Target-Foundation/national
•Dollar General Literacy Foundation - https://www.dgliteracy.org/ - youth-literacy-grants
How do I make a successful author/Illustrator visit?
•Check with the author to find out what kind of program they will be presenting.
•Have the kids read the authors books ahead of time, kids are more enthused when they know the books ahead of time.
•Some authors have curriculum guides for their books. These usually have exercises and games that help the children get into their book’s world.
•Advanced book sales are a great way for kids to be able to see the author up close and get a book signed.
•If books can’t be signed ask for the author to bring bookplates for kids that order the book after the visit.
•Reserve a parking spot for the author.
•Have water available for the author
•Ask about dietary restrictions if you are providing snacks or lunch.
•Make sure teachers are also modeling good listening skills during the presentation.