How much is this going to cost?
The short answer is $1500 plus travel (from New Orleans), lodging and meal expenses for in-person visits. Tight budget? Mike suggests that two nearby schools "partner" and split the day (and the expenses). Mike usually does three presentations per day - so that would mean one school would have Mike for two presentations and the other school would have Mike for one presentation. If you have a special situation or concerns, please let Mike know.
Mike will also do a 45 minute virtual visit with schools for $250. Group size is up to you and is limited only by your streaming capacity. We'll still look at creepy bug pix, do some jokes, riddles and tongue twisters, draw cartoons together and listen to Mike read from one of his Cajun books with a Cajun accent. Tons of fun!
What age groups?
Mike typically visits PreK - 5 or PreK - 6 schools however it's not uncommon for Mike to speak to groups of Jr. High or even High School students.
What does Mike do during his presentations?
Mike starts with a PowerPoint presentation showing pics of himself, his family and where he's from. Next, he shows cool images from his non-fiction science books and he challenges the kids with some wordplay from his joke, riddle, tongue twister books. Mike also reads from one or more of his Cajun books using his authentic Cajun accent.
Depending on the group, Mike might engage the kids in some interactive "brain games" or explain the different kinds of writing he does (fiction, non-fiction, biographies, advertising copyrighting, greeting cards, etc.).
The highlight of Mike's presentation is always the step-by-step cartooning instructions. Mike shows every student (and teacher) how to create great little cartoons and how cartoons can help improve reading, writing and thinking skills. EVERYONE DRAWS ALONG - little kids, big kids and teachers too.
Finally (if time permits), Mike will close with a Q&A and some music. Mike has been playing music professionally since he was a teenager and he loves to get the kids singing. He might even get someone from the audience to dance with him...
Will Mike have books available for sale and autographing?
That's up to you. It's not necessary, but if you want to have books available, you can order books directly from Mike, from a local bookseller or from the publishers. If you order directly from Mike, he'll send you 5 - 8 sample books and an order form. You can display the books in your library and then take orders for the books and collect the money. When all the orders are in, you email the name of the child/adult ordering the books, the titles being ordered and the name of the child's teacher. Mike will autograph EVERY book and personalize the book with the child's name (or whatever name is specified on the order form). Mike will also draw a small cartoon in each book. When all the books are signed, Mike will ship them to you in advance of his visit. Sorry, no discounts, but you may keep the sample books as Mike's gift. You can mail a check to Mike for the books or you can give Mike a check when he arrives at your school. Questions? Concerns? Email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
MIKE'S THOUGHTS ON REACHING RELUCTANT WRITERS
"Good writing is the result of good thinking. It doesn't happen accidentally. The main reason why so many kids are reluctant writers is because they are overwhelmed by the process. The way to address this is to have them write a lot...but to write things that are short, fun and relevant. And for your visual thinkers, it's important to tie-in the visuals - because a large portion of their thinking is done in pictures."