New York City, NY USA
SCHOOL VISITS: K - 6
I write picture books, beginning readers, and chapter books, and usually speak in 3 large-group assemblies during a school day: a 45-minute presentation for K - 1, 55-minute presentations for grades 2 - 3, and 4 - 5/6, and I enjoy having an Authors' Lunch with students. The more familiar students are with my books, the more they'll get out of the visit. You can find a list of my presentations as well as book-related activities on my website.
Year(s) of participation: 2017, 2018, 2019
A4ED school visit photos & blurbs:
William Woodruff Elementary, Mount Park Elementary and Thomas P. Hughes Elementary in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey USA
BAYVILLE PRIMARY SCHOOL, in Bayville, NY USA
KATE FUELS CONSERVATION AT BAYVILLE
The minute I stepped inside Bayville Primary School and saw the amazing 3-D mural created by the art teacher and the kids, I knew I was going to have an amazing day. I was right.
Stefanie Lipsey, the librarian, had prepared her students very well for my visit. The K-2 students were quite excited about the Authors for Earth Day project and voted for me to donate half of my honorarium to the Ocean Conservancy. Since the kids in Bayville live near the sea and spend lots of time at the beach, they are interested in a healthy ocean, so it's no surprise that they chose the Ocean Conservancy.
After the assembly, I was treated to an incredible lunch prepared by the PTA moms, complete with a garbage-truck cake!
I spoke to grades 3-5 in the afternoon. Although this group, too, voted for the Ocean Conservancy as their choice for an author donation, Paige Coppola, the upper school librarian, told me that many of her students were incredibly moved by the work that The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee is doing in providing a home in the wild for elephants who have spent most of their lives performing in circuses. Ms. Coppola phoned the sanctuary and arranged for her students to have a remote learning experience with the elephants at the sanctuary.
Authors for Earth Day gives kids a unique opportunity for learning about the earth and its creatures, and it's an honor for me to be a part of it each year. Many thanks to Ms. Lipsey and Ms. Coppola, two incredibly dedicated librarians, and to the teachers, administrators, staff, and PTA at the Bayville Schools who all helped to make it a wonderful day.
WASHINGTON SCHOOL, in Washington Township, NJ and MCLEAN SIXTH GRADE in Ft. Worth, TX USA
KATE GIVES KIDS A CHOICE AT WASHINGTON
The kids were so happy that the Vaquita Porpoise won their donation. They are living up to their motto to MAKE EVERY DAY
I began my presentations with a Power Point showing some of the terrific signs I'd seen at the March for Science in Washington DC. The one that seemed to resonate most for the students was: THERE IS NO PLANET B. The kids offered their own idea for a sign: MAKE EVERY DAY
My MARCH FOR SCIENCE sign, suggested by students and lovingly painted in watercolor by my artist husband, didn't survive long in the rainy D.C. weather!
It was heartening to hear how much the students had learned from researching the five conservation organizations on their A4ED ballots. They told me about futuristic directions in science, the plight of bats and whales and why the world's rain forests are so vitally important. In the end, the kids voted for our donation to go to VIVA VAQUITA!. This organization is working to save one of the world's most endangered species, the little Vaquita Porpoise, which currently has only 28 remaining individuals. The Washington School students are hoping that their donation can help to get those numbers climbing!
Thank you, librarian Lisa Breen for preparing the students so beautifully, and thank you Washington School PTO and faculty for your support in making my first A4ED visit such a memorable one for us all.
KATE GIVES KIDS A CHOICE AT MCLEAN
Thanks to an inspirational principal, Laura Armstrong, a talented Reading Specialist, Angela De Salvo, fantastic teachers, and 520 eager and well-prepared sixth graders, my A4ED visit to McLean 6th Grade couldn't have been more perfect. Right off the bat, they made me feel welcome.
My day began with a tour of the school conducted by the Student Council so that I could admire all the Earth Day posters the students created to promote their favorite conservation organizations.
When the votes were tallied, I announced over the school's PA system that the winner of a portion of my honorarium was — Ocean Conservancy.
I gave my presentation on Myth-o-Mania, a series of books retelling some Greek myths with Hades as the narrator, and the students and I discussed the ancient Greek concept of Gaia, Mother Earth, and how thousands of years ago people were concerned about taking care of our planet, just as we are now. Back in the day, I taught sixth grade and it was so cool to spend time in a school devoted specifically to the education of sixth graders!