7 Steps to Success
Preparation is perhaps the most important ingredient for a successful school event, so the following timeline is offered to help keep A4ED authors and schools on track with their groundwork. We also email RESOURCES & REMINDERS to our participating team.
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Step 1: The participating author or illustrator should schedule and confirm an A4ED school visit and exchange all standard author visit materials with the school (confirmation letter, invoice, book order form, etc.) Remember, the school pays the author in the normal fashion, and then the author donates 50%-100% of the fee. Review how it works and make it memorable.
The author should submit professional & event details to Authors for Earth Day via email. A4ED will send a RESOURCES & REMINDERS packet to the author to keep the event on track. Both the author and school will be listed on the Participant's Page linked through meet our participants.
TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO EVENT
Step 2: Using our Nominees Template, the author should create a list of five 501(c)(3), not-for-profit conservation organizations, which will be their "nominees" for the A4ED vote. The list should include a brief synopsis about each organization with its IP address, so teachers and kids can effectively research them. The template PDF includes a list of well-known conservation organizations that may be considered.
Along with their nominee list, the author should forward to their school our Educator Preparation Packet. This has information about the history of Earth Day, which falls annually on April 22nd, as well as educational links, curriculum and activities to engage teachers and students.
ONE MONTH PRIOR TO EVENT
Step 3: The school should begin extensive educational preparations for the author visit, including student research of "nominees", reading the author's books, using nature books and book-based curriculum in the classroom, and discussing the power of voice and the importance of conservation.
The school should refer to the Author/Illustrator Visit Checklist sent by the participant to ensure they have everything in order for their visiting author.
ONE WEEK PRIOR TO EVENT
Step 4: The school should begin final A4ED celebration preparations to build enthusiasm for the author visit and upcoming vote, including making posters, decorating the library and contacting the local newspaper for publicity. Teachers may also encourage final research of the "nominees."
Using our Voting Forms Template, the author should email a voting form to their school contact, along with voting process details. Unless a digital voting platform is being employed, the school should print one voting form for each teacher/classroom.
DAY OF EVENT
Step 5: Enjoy the author visit and celebrate nature! As time allows, each classroom teacher should facilitate a student vote (paperless, if possible), counting the exact number of votes for each "nominee" and documenting the tabulations on their voting form. Teachers should NOT determine classroom winners, as we want the POPULAR VOTE for the sum of students to prevail.
Step 6: At day's end, the winning organization (donation recipient) should be announced to the student body. The author, who should already have been given a payment check from the school, should then write a check to contribute at least 50% of their speaking fee in honor of the students at their school. This is a great opportunity for photographs, which can be used on the websites of the author, school and A4ED!
Step 7: The author should mail the donation check to the conservation organization with a letter explaining the A4ED event and the student vote that lead to the gift. The letter should also include the school information, requesting that the organization send a thank you letter to the students and any possible educational materials they are able to donate back to the school. Our sample Letter to Donation Recipient may prove helpful.
The author should also inform Authors for Earth Day of the donation amount/recipient via email. The organization will be listed on the A4ED website, and the amount donated will be included as part of coalition's total contribution.