One of my biggest goals as a kids’ author is empower kids to speak their truth. I try to do this thematically in my books. School visits give me the unique opportunity to put these themes into action.
All kids use their voices differently. I believe it’s their job to find the way that works for them, and it’s up to the adults in their lives to expose them to as many ways as possible. I admire teachers who are looking for innovative ways to do just that, and I always appreciate invitations to come speak.
During my school visits, I teach voice in writing and illustration specifically. Because this topic can truly take semesters to cover, I hone in on what I think is the most important ingredient: emotion. We do a lot of movement, a reading, and a writing/drawing assignment.
Because I mainly speak with kindergarteners through third graders, society hasn’t silenced them yet. I am passionate about getting into this sweet spot and telling them their emotions are worthy of expression, their truth matters.
Writing kids’s books can feel a lot like shouting into the void. From behind a laptop, it’s very difficult for an author to know if they are truly reaching anyone. For me, school visits help me access my readers and understand what they’re experiencing, what they want the world to hear. They give me an opportunity to enliven the experience of writing.
I just wrapped up my last school visit of the year (with an awesome K/1 class, by the way). I’m now booking a school visit tour in Michigan for October. Please email me if you want more info!