Jeanie Franz Ransom
O'Fallon, MO USA
SCHOOL VISITS: K - 5
I've always loved going to school. I'm still excited to get a new notebook filled with blank pages—and possibilities. And the smell of a freshly-opened box of crayons never fails to make me happy.
Luckily for me, I'm a children's author, so I get to visit schools all the time! I'm also a former elementary school counselor, so I'm comfortable working with kids. I know that school days are busy days, so I make sure that the time students and teachers are with me is time well-spent.
I'm available to speak at schools, libraries, children's literary festivals, and educator conferences. I also love to Skype!
Year(s) of participation: 2016, 2019
A4ED school visit photos & blurbs:
WILLIAM CAPPEL ELEMENTARY in Moscow Mills, Missouri USA
JEANIE MENTORS KIDS AT WILLIAM CAPPEL
When Literacy Coach Lisa Larson contacted me about coming to her school, William Cappel Elementary, to help celebrate Dr. Seuss Week and Read Across America, I knew I had my A4ED partner for 2019! Lisa was so easygoing and flexible, she readily agreed to incorporate A4ED into the schedule.
With just four weeks until my visit, it was a bonus that the A4ED process is so simple. I chose five of my favorite non-profit conservation organizations for students to research and vote on: Charity: Water, The Nature Conservancy, Ocean Conservancy, World Bird Sanctuary, and Endangered Wolf Center. The last two are local organizations by design: I like to include one or two on my list every time I do an A4ED. It builds awareness and makes it personal when students learn that they can help make a difference close to home. In the case of World Bird Sanctuary and Endangered Wolf Center, kids can even visit. Both are less than an hour's drive from the school, which is in Moscow Mills, Missouri. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself here. Because until the votes were tallied (thank you, Lisa!), there was no telling which non-profit would receive the donation I pledged to give. And I was happy with all five "nominees."
Friday, March 1st, began with a parent program and snacks, followed by four grade-level presentations. And more snacks. In honor of Dr. Seuss, staff members had filled the tables in the teacher workroom with a variety of goodies, including green deviled eggs. Maybe there was ham, too, but I was distracted by the colorful cupcakes!
I announced the winner near the end of the day, and students watched me make out an oversized check for $400 to Endangered Wolf Center. All in all, this A4ED was—dare I say it?—a howling success!
OLD BONHOMME in Ladue, Missouri USA
JEANIE CONNECTS WITH STUDENTS AT OLD BONHOMME
My 2016 A4ED partnership with third-grade teacher Brett Kelley and his class—known as the 3K Robots—was the icing on the cake for my visit to Old Bonhomme Elementary in St. Louis, Missouri.
I was already scheduled to visit Brett's class on March 4th—the result of a successful letter campaign by his students—when I asked if they'd like to work with me on an A4ED project. The timing couldn't have been better—the students had been learning about the environment and how they could make a difference in the world. By participating in A4ED, they got to make that difference.
The 3K Robots researched the list of five organizations I'd given them, then voted to see which would receive a $200 donation. The results weren't revealed until I visited the classroom March 4th.
To start off our time together, I was treated to a PowerPoint presentation summarizing what the students had learned about each organization. I ended up learning a few things myself! Then Brett made the big announcement, complete with drum roll. Ocean Conservancy had received the most votes! I don't know who was more excited about the project—Brett, his students, or yours truly—but I do know it was a rewarding experience for everyone involved. I'm already looking forward to A4ED 2017!