School Visits and Presentations
“My students LOVED having Jessica Young come and visit our school! She was extremely engaging and she truly brought her books to life! She walked our students through her creative process, and we were able to see her notes that she made as she began a few of her stories. She was an incredible reader! Our students were entranced by her stories . . . . She did a great job engaging our kindergarteners in finding examples of alliteration, similes, and onomatopoeia. I bought all of her books for my classroom library because my students were hungry to read them again and again! We’re so thankful she was able to come to our school, and I would HIGHLY encourage other teachers and schools to invite her to read to their students. A few of my students have told me that they want to be an author when they grow up after having her visit us.” — Ashley Ogle, Kindergarten Teacher, Nashville, TN
“My kids loved the visit from Jessica Young. We are in such a critical time where students are learning to read but not yet in love with the idea of it. Maybe it is that they don’t feel confident, they don’t understand its value, or they haven’t found that series that sucks them in. Having an author come, especially one as well-spoken as Jessica Young, lit fires in many of my young readers. I was able to purchase some of her books, and it has been a battle as to who gets to read them next. I have even overheard mini book club discussions regarding their favorite part, parts that made them laugh, or parts that caught them off guard. Having someone besides me, someone who is so knowledgeable about reading and its value talk with the kids was a valuable experience that will benefit them long term.” — Katie Barksdale, 3rd Grade Teacher, Nashville, TN
“Athens City School System had the pleasure of having Jessica Young visit for two and a half days to meet with all five of our schools. . . . Jessica was able to share her background, the literary devices utilized in her stories, and the writing process. It was a nice touch for her to include personal photos of her as a kid . . . it was a great connection for students. Another awesome addition was the time she took to discuss similes, metaphors, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. Figurative language and using descriptive details ties in nicely with language and writing standards. Last, Jessica incorporated a message of perseverance when sharing her writing process . . . . Jessica is a wonderful presenter! She kept the students engaged, presented information relevant to students’ lives, and made wonderful connections to school curriculum. The presentations . . . were a great asset to our school system!” — Lori Farley, Athens City Schools, Athens, TN
“Our school had the opportunity to have Jessica deliver both large group presentations and classroom workshops based on her book My Blue is Happy. Her presentations were interactive, informative, exciting and adapted to meet the needs of our students. Students gained an understanding of the writing process and left the presentation excited about writing while the teachers were able to use her ideas in the classroom. . . . The students were enthralled during the entire presentation. . . . The teachers involved with Jessica had nothing but praise for how she interacted with the students and how she was able to encourage the creativity of the students.” — Carol Pascuzzo, Teacher-Librarian, Holy Cross School, Thunder Bay, ON
“Working, planning, and organizing with Jessica was great. She is very knowledgeable about the needs of various students and prepared a program that was extremely engaging, educational and fun. It truly provided the students with an opportunity to use their higher-order thinking skills, while also giving them an opportunity to be hands-on and share their ideas with their peers (which they loved!). One of the most incredible things that I saw was the way in which Jessica was able to engage with the students. She answered any and all questions so effortlessly, and really helped guide the students’ thinking by providing prompts and always managing to take their responses and relate them back to the program. Teachers and students alike were very receptive to the program that she ran. Overall, this was an amazing opportunity for our students who left feeling encouraged to write their own stories!” — Deepa Jain, Teacher-Librarian, Dublin Heights Elementary and Middle School, Toronto, ON
“Ms. Youngʼs presentation was both fun and engaging. . . . She demonstrated a genuine connection with the students. . . . One of the most important components in promoting literacy is to foster the love of reading. This was evident in Jessicaʼs presentation. She had a lasting impact on our students as many went out to purchase her new series of books. . . . Students at our school were creating pieces of art and poetry based on Jessicaʼs book due to her enthusiasm and willingness to share her personal stories. I found Jessica to be outstanding in her preparation, delivery and follow up. . . . I give her my highest possible recommendation.” — June Rysinski, Teacher-Librarian, Corpus Christi School, Thunder Bay, ON
“The kids really loved your presentation, and the teachers were very impressed with how you keep them involved and listening. . . . The discussion on writing tools and the process of drafting and editing was very helpful for their Reading/Language Arts skills. And the encouragement of hearing that they all had idea seeds in their minds that could develop into stories was wonderful.” — Suzanne Costner, School Library Media Specialist, Fairview Elementary School, Maryville, TN
“Jessica did a great job bringing her book to life for students by including stories about herself as a child and adult. She showed students how she used criticism constructively to improve her writing. Her words about persevering have stayed with my students.” — Melissa Sherman, Second Grade Teacher, University School of Nashville, Nashville, TN
“It was great, especially hitting on the story elements (loved the map), writing process, and the figurative devices! It hits those common core standards in a big way!” — Brenda Goins, Librarian, Porter Elementary, Maryville, TN
“Jessica was able to engage the students by using creative activities and asking questions. She gave them a good preview of her book, which they loved. After the presentation, teachers continually came up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed the visit.” — Brandy Spencer, Library Technician, St. Mark Elementary School, Burlington, ON
I’m now a Teaching Artist on the TN Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster, which means that public schools in TN can apply to have my school visit fees covered through grants like the Student Ticket Subsidy program: “The Student Ticket Subsidy (STS) grant program provides funds for artist fees, ticket costs, and transportation fees for students from Tennessee public schools to experience a broad variety of cultural opportunities, arts disciplines, and artists.” If you know any TN teachers or school librarians/media specialists who might be interested in having me—or another teaching artist—feel free to spread the word about this great program!
I was a teacher for twenty years, and I love working with teachers and library media specialists to tailor presentations and workshops to best suit the needs of each school.
Adapted for age/grade level , 40 – 50 minutes
Up to 200 students per presentation is preferable—less for a more personal experience (although greater numbers can be accommodated)
Various presentations include: author background , the writing and publishing process, writing tools (literary devices), story structures, revision , writing tips, and Q&A
Hands-on activities designed for one class (up to 30 students), 40 – 60 minutes, depending on grade level and activities
Contact me to set up a free Skype visit!
Fees vary based on location and presentation specifics. Discounts for full-day, half-day, and bundled school visits. Contact me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Downloadable Teacher Resources and Activity Sheets
My Blue is Happy
Spy Guy the Not-So-Secret Agent
Finley Flowers Series
Haggis and Tank Unleashed Series
Additional Haggis and Tank Unleashed Haggis and Tank activities and lesson ideas
First Book is a great program I participate in that helps schools get new books and educational resources in the hands of kids in need. Find out more at: www.firstbook.org/jessicayoung
My Blue is Happy in the classroom:
*nominated for the 2016-2017 Volunteer State Book Award
*nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s Blue Spruce Award
*nominated for the 2014-2015 Abilene ISD Mockingbird Award
*Metro Nashville Public Schools “Virtual Pre-K” program.
*using books in the classroom by LEARN (Quebec) professional development
©2013 Jessica Young. All rights reserved.