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Here is a list of the answers to most frequently asked questions:

  • Performances usually run 45 minutes to an hour depending on the age range of the audience.

  • For workshops I prefer a full hour; the more time I have, the more depth and breadth we can cover. I can work within 45 minute periods but prefer an 80 minute block.

  • For performances, a large audience is not a problem. I often perform for groups of 300 - 500 students.

  • I bring my own sound system.

  • Generally, I prefer to keep workshop groups small, 25-50 students. A single classroom is ideal.

  • If you have two or three classes of each grade level we can put them together if I have the active participation and support of teachers. (My pet peeve is a teacher who grades papers, leaves the room in the middle of a presentation, or somehow considers this as time off. Usually this situation does not occur because most teachers are ardent supporters of the art of storytelling, willing and eager participants. If you could please remind teachers of the need for their active involvement I would greatly appreciate it.)

  • If you have four or five (or more) classrooms of each grade level we may need to schedule a two-week residency or choose two or three grade levels to participate in the workshops. We will need to work out a similar solution if you have a K-8 building. I can work confidently with all grade levels, so I will let you decide who to select. I believe everyone should be included in performances and / or I could visit the other grade levels for one basic storytelling workshop. We will need to be inventive if this is a concern.

  • If you have AM and PM kindergarten, we may need to schedule a single workshop period for each group.

  • For themes, I am willing to cover a wide range of material. My preference is to present different types of stories and writing exercises for each grade level or classroom workshop. My goal is to support the classroom teacher and to cover the curriculum you have chosen. If teachers could send me information about what they are teaching just before or while I am in residency, I would be happy to tell stories and teach creative writing with their curriculum in mind. This works better if I am reinforcing, not introducing a theme. For example: if the older students are covering American History, the middle students are studying the rain forest and the younger students are exploring fables, I can tell stories and teach creative writing with that content as our guide. This also means that performances on Friday have a livelier mix. If you could please send a list of topics one month before the residency this would give me plenty of lead time to prepare.

  • Depending on what we have negotiated as far as fees and responsibilities, I like to include a teacher training workshop and an evening PTA meeting. I believe in the integrity of the school community and promoting a love of language in the home and classroom after I am gone. I have several programs that I have developed along these lines. Please see the enclosed workshop outlines. It is best if the teacher workshop is earlier in the week so they can better prepare for my visit. Whereas, the parent night is better later in the week so I can include some student performers in the line up.

  • For lunch I prefer a large salad, or sandwich, some fruit, juice, or something else that is light, all natural and fresh. Though I am not a strict vegetarian, it is my preference. I call myself a conscientious omnivore. I occasionally eat fish or fowl, but will not eat red meat, except wild game. School lunch is an option, especially if you have a salad bar. I am more flexible than all of this may appear. Though I have preferences, I will eat most anything.

  • While on the subject of refreshments, I will need an ample supply of water throughout the week. I prefer bottled water, but tap water will do if the EPA has deemed your supply a safe one. I also like a cup of coffee in the morning, but this should be easy, knowing how teachers like coffee in the morning.

  • For room and board I prefer a cozy bed and breakfast near the school. A local motel or chain hotel is also an option. If finances are limited, I am comfortable staying with a teacher or PTA parent who has an extra guest room. (I do feel uncomfortable bumping Johnny from his room and sleeping in a child's bed. I just have to draw the line somewhere!) For dinner I prefer eating a few meals on my own. But if teachers or parents wanted to invite me to their home or out for dinner a couple of nights during the week, I am willing. My goal with all of these details is to be flexible, make your life easy, and keep your costs and my expenses to a minimum. You will find that I am an easy going and self-sufficient guest.

  • If you have further questions please call me at (309) 689-8000.

HISTORY... In Person

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