Book Betty Tatham for a School Visit
Schools are experiencing tremendous economic challenges and parent support groups are struggling to find a balance between continuing traditional enrichment activities like author visits that make learning fun and motivate children to become better readers, writers and students and helping their school meet basic needs. Authors also feel the economic pinch, with stories that would have meant almost automatic contracts 5 years ago, having only a slight chance to be published and some fine writers giving up and getting a full time job with a steady income and fringe benefits.
However, if everyone makes some sacrifices and adjustments, we can continue to offer children experiences that add fun and adventure to learning. For my part, I decided to offer one assembly for an entire school for $600 and then have incremental costs of $100 for additional assemblies, up to three per day. If two schools near each other are willing to partner, they can each pay $500 per school and share the travel or mileage costs. Dividing the school population in half obviously makes for a more age appropriate presentation, but one general assembly is better than none. More districts using one of the 3 anthologies with Penguin Chick, have asked for one visit for all students in third or second grade and they hope to repeat this next year. After doing 8 annual visits in one district in a row, it was sad to learn that they now need all the money for school supplies.
My former career, directing 3 YWCAs in different parts of the country, gave me excellent proposal writing experience and I am glad to help write one for an Education Foundation grant or financial support from a local bank or other business or even to a family willing and able to sponsor a school visit, which would be a tax deductible contribution to the school.
Grants can also help fund “Family Fun Night” where a family will learn to jointly create an animal collage and get a free book. This could be Baby Sea Otter which costs $17.95 or Penguin Chick, a $5.99 paperback book. Craft materials are bought at the dollar store and so are frames. If I do it in the early evening on the same day as a school visit, the cost is only $300 for the 2 hour session, a stand-alone Family Fun Night (or Saturday afternoon) costs $600. This is also a fine activity for an Aquarium, Zoo or Nature Center.
Book Betty Tatham for Presentations at Conferences
Betty Tatham has been a presenter at numerous conferences, workshops and training events for Library Media Specialists, Reading Specialists and Teachers and she was one of the keynote speakers at a SCBWI sponsored Fall Philly Conference. Topics can be tailored to the conference theme or be based on group interests. Examples:
“How to Do More at Little or No Extra Cost - Ideas Learned During School Visits,”
“Research – Help Children Become Detectives in the Library and on the Internet – Digging for Facts, Hunting Clues!”
“Reading Incentives – Meet Big Bird or Amelia Bedelia for the Day! Ways to challenge a whole school to read more and love it!”
“How to Get the Most from an Author Visit for Your Students!”
“Partnering with Parents and Other Family Members to Create Happy Readers”
“Animals are Awesome! – Animal and Other Projects to Promote Writing and Reading”