award winning author and illustrator
SCHOOL VISITS: Pre-K - 9
An experienced, enthusiastic and inspiring speaker, Brooke's engaging presentations promote the power of literacy, and the vibrant beauty of the natural world. She is available for school visits, in-service classes, writing workshops, conferences and festivals. Brooke is the founder of Authors for Earth Day. Her popular school programs can be presented in person or live-online. Download 100+ pages of FREE curriculum .
Year(s) of participation: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
A4ED school visit photos & blurbs:
2015 at M.C. Cash Elementary in Phoenix, AZ
BROOKE GIVES BACK AT MC CASH
VIVA VAQUITA!! was the school cheer at MC Cash Elementary in Phoenix, Arizona on the day of my A4ED visit.
Art teacher Jennifer Kuster (with me in the photo) coordinated the event and also helped the students make animal-collage ballot boxes for each classroom. Although the kids (700+ students, grades k-6) researched five excellent nominee organizations, their hearts were captured by the plight of the endangered vaquita.
Fewer than 100 of these tiny adorable porpoises are left in the world—trying to survive in Mexico's Gulf of California. The students were clearly committed to helping them because when they cast their ballots, Viva Vaquita! won by an overwhelming majority. The organization will receive $750. VIVA VAQUITA!!
2014 at Copper Rim Elementary in Globe, AZ
BROOKE EMPOWERS YOUNG READERS AT COPPER RIM
Wow! What a fun day!
Thanks to librarian Laurie Player-Weller (pictured with our mock check), I had an absolute ball talking about reading, writing and conservation (and making animal faces) with the kids at Copper Rim. This was the school's second Authors for Earth Day event—they hosted Conrad Storad last year—and Mrs. Weller plans to make it an annual event, so the students will grow up with strong environmental education. How cool is that?!
The race at the polls was fierce, with two organizations running neck and neck. All of us waited anxiously for the final ballots to arrive. In the end, the Gorilla Foundation won by a last-minute landslide and everyone cheered. The kids, teachers and I were very excited to support Koko the gorilla and her team of humans as they work to educate the world about the intelligence of our great ape cousins.
Our $750 donation was greatly appreciated. It prompted the organization to send not only a thank you to the kids, but to also send some wonderful gifts—library materials for students to enjoy into the future—a reminder of the impact they made for gorilla conservation.
2013 at DUTCH CREEK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, Littleton, Colorado, USA
BROOKE CELEBRATES EARTH DAY AT DUTCH CREEK
Thanks to everyone at Dutch Creek—librarian Laura Reiman, the supportive staff and uber-enthusiastic students—my 2013 A4ED school visit was a great success! After a month of researching and making weekly announcements about the five conservation organizations nominees on the school TV news, the kids voted to decide where to send my $750. Who won? Blue Ocean Institute! I was thrilled by the decision! The founder of BOI, Carl Safina, is also the acclaimed author of several compelling eco-minded books, including Voyage of the Turtle, Song for the Blue Ocean and The View from Lazy Point. He also has a new children's chapter book, Nina Delmar: The Great Whale Rescue, which he sent to the Dutch Creek library as a thank you for the kids' support. I know the students will love the read and I love that we've come full circle back to books. Conservation and literacy are both near and dear to my heart and I'm grateful to be able to make an impact through Authors for Earth Day.
2012 at LAVEEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, Laveen, Arizona, USA
BROOKE SPEAKS FOR NATURE AT LAVEEN
Librarian, Silvia Cortez, and 3rd grade teacher, Jenny Kuster, coordinated a fantastic day at Laveen Elementary! I spoke with k-6 in the morning, then met with the 8th grade Writer's Club for an informal Q&A. Posters lined the school halls and every class cheered wildly as I began my presentations. The kids asked a lot of questions about how they could help protect animals and habitats and I pointed out how powerful (their own) writing could be in fostering change, not to mention the monetary contribution they were directing to support conservation.
At day's end we had a clear winner for the donation recipient —
Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale, Arizona—an organization that cares for native Arizona mammals, like cougars, bears, javelina, foxes, bobcats and coyotes.
Thanks to everyone at Laveen for hosting such a wonderful A4ED event!
2011 at CHEYENNE TRADITIIONAL SCHOOL, Scottsdale, Arizona
BROOKE BESSESEN INSPIRES KIDS AT CHEYENNE
Librarian Teresa Spotleson (with me in the picture) hosted a fantastic Earth Day event! I was there 2 days so I could see all the classes K-8! The students had done their research and were very knowledgeable about the environment so it was no surprise that it was a tight race for which conservation organization should receive my A4ED donation. World Wildlife Fund slid into first place just as I was about to go on-air to announced the winner on the school news.
I believe in the power of these kids to shape a better, greener future for us all.
2010 at RHODES JR. HIGH WORLD STUDIES ACADEMY, Mesa, Arizona
BROOKE GOES GREEN AT RHODES!
Rhodes was absolutely fantastic! The school went all out for the ultimate Earth Day celebration. The students did an extraordinary amount of research into the organizations they were voting between. They covered several walls with posters about the nominees, and even ran video PSAs throughout the day sharing details about each organization. In the end, Friends of the Osa won the paperless polls and a check was written to support their efforts of sea turtle conservation on Costa's Rica's Osa Peninsula. The kids cheered!
Thanks Rhodes... you rock!
2009 at KYRENE DE LOS CERRITOS, Phoenix, Arizona
SUCCESS AT CERRITOS!
$750 was donated to the Ocean Conservancy in honor of the students at Kyrene de los Cerritos! The Ocean Conservancy noted the contribution in their quarterly publication (see media page) and sent the school a thank you along with a year's membership to their organization and classroom reading materials.
To see a video clip of the presentation click here