Frequently Asked Questions

faqsHow much?
In most cases, we schedule our programs by the half-day or full-day.

Half-day (1-2 presentations)     $725
Full day  (3-4 presentations)     $1,125
Two schools may split a full day and pay only $562.50 each.

Travel expenses vary depending upon your location but often can be discounted or waived by networking.

We have several rate options for public libraries, small schools, after-school events, and/or evening programs. Call us toll-free for more information or check the fees page on this site.

Are you available on the date I want?
My calendar is online and up to date. Click here to see the dates I am booked and available.

What do the terms “Half Day” and “Full Day” mean?
Full day starts as early as you want and ends when the school day ends. This can be divided however you want, but usually it consists of 3-4 programs. It is also possible to split the full day between two or more schools with no additional charge, so that each school pays only a portion of a full day fee. In other words, it is much cheaper to have two schools coordinate and split a full day than for each of them to pay a half day fee.

Half-day runs either from the start of the school day until lunch time, or from just after lunch until the end of the school day. This allows for 1 to 2 programs per half-day.

How many students can participate in your assemblies?
I have performed for groups as small as 25 and as large as 1,200.  For optimum educational impact, I suggest 250-300 students of similar age as a maximum number per presentation. If you have more than 175 students per assembly, we recommend a raised platform/stage or elevated seating (bleachers) and/or multiple presentations.

How far will you travel?
I will travel most anywhere, however we perform most of our programs in Georgia, Alabama, Northern Florida and the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. When I travel, I try to block book an area. If several schools in the same area schedule programs, I waive travel expenses and offer other incentives.

What age/grade levels are the programs designed for?
Most of our programs are for K-5th. I differentiate vocabulary and key concepts to meet the audience needs.

We have other programs specifically designed for secondary students from 6th-12th grades, and you can split a day with a Middle School or High School just as easily as with another elementary school.

Are your programs better for younger or older students?
The school assembly programs have been designed by a team of professional educators with over 90 years of combined classroom teaching experience. It may seem impossible, particularly if you’ve had bad experiences in the past, to believe that one program can be just as entertaining to the older students as it is with the younger ones, or as educationally significant for the younger ones as it is for the older ones. But that is exactly what we offer.

I’ve had schools tell me “Since you use puppets, we are going to let you present only to the younger children” and then I’ve been to others who said “Since your assembly programs are so educational we are going to let you present only to the older students.” Without fail they later tell me “Well I think the whole school would have benefited from that program. We’ll have to have you back!”

While we love to be invited back, it seems silly not to let everyone enjoy the program each time we visit, particularly since we don’t charge by the number of programs we present, or by the number of students in attendance.

Is it best to divide our students by grade level?
Educationally this is a wise decision as it allows me to present age-appropriate content. However, from a practical standpoint, we know this is not always possible, nor is it required. (Back when I was young and naïve, I thought all school decisions were made based on student need. Then I found out that lunch schedules and bus schedules trump everything!) Ideal divisions are primary (K-2) and intermediate (3-5), or one to two grades per assembly (for a full day).

What assembly program would you recommend as a reading reward or incentive?
I have performed every program for these types of events, but the most popular motivational reading program is “I Love to Read!” This program is a high-energy assembly with lots of audience participation.  It works especially well for any age, even older students (6th-8th) and family gatherings (PTO/PTA).

Do we need to provide you with a P.A. (Public Address) System?
No, I bring my own microphones and sound system.  I even bring my own extension cord!

What do you need our school/library to provide?
I bring everything we need for the programs except the students and electricity.  However, if you have a cleared stage or raised platform with steps, this is always a plus. And I’m a water drinker, so a couple of bottles of water would be great, if I forget to bring my own. I usually tell schools that all I need is electricity and an audience. I’ll take care of the rest!

How much time do we need to allow between assembly programs?
Typically I can reset most of the programs in the time it takes to dismiss one group and bring in the next group (about 10 minutes). Most schools schedule shows an hour apart (45 minutes for the show, 15 minutes for transition).

Can we schedule two different programs on the same day?
Maybe! It really depends on your timing and the location of the performances. Call and ask. I try to be as accommodating as possible!

Will you modify a program or customize a program at our request?
Certainly, as long as the changes do not impact the educational significance of the program. Since each of these programs is written like a one-act play, major changes can disrupt the flow and value of the presentation. Call me and let’s talk about it.

How many different programs can you do in a visit?
There are two factors that limit this request: how many shows I can fit in my car and the length of time it takes to strike one set, reset another, and change costumes.

If you are planning a multi-day author visit it is quite possible and rather easy to have a different program for each day, limited to the number of educational assembly programs we can transport. This usually limits you to 2-3 different titles depending on which shows you want (some have larger props and stage sets than others).

If you want multiple different school assembly programs during the same day, realize that I will need at least an hour to strike one set, reset another, and change costumes. If you can plan a 60 minute lunch time for this to happen it shouldn’t be a problem to do one show in the morning and the other in the afternoon. If a full-day is split between two schools then this is pretty easy since the set will be broken down and reset anyway.

When is payment due?
I understand how to work with POs and how to jump through your county’s hoops. I prefer to get paid on the day of the performance, but I understand that processing paperwork through the system can be time consuming and frustrating and that you often have very little control over the process. I know you don’t need an uptight performer whining about how he needs to be paid TODAY or his car will be repossessed.  If payment will not be ready on the day of the performance, just call or e-mail us and let me know. No problem!

YOU focus on getting approval and scheduling the program.

I will focus on entertaining and educating your students.

We’ll BOTH let your bookkeeper and our accounting department work out the money.

What about programs for secondary students?
Arctic Express, and I Love to Read are all designed with a version for secondary students as well as elementary students.

Splitting a full-day between a secondary campus and an elementary campus works the same way as between two elementary campuses.

What about Staff Development programs? 
Yes, we have them. We currently offer staff development workshops and keynotes in the several areas. You can find out more by clicking here. Contact me about details on these programs.