Programs

The programs we offer are designed with state standards and educational goals in mind from the beginning. That’s just one of the reasons that our programs are completely different from shows offered by most school show performers. For my educational programs, I have three hard, fast, non-negotiables that every show MUST accomplish. The show MUST be entertaining for everyone who attends. The show MUST be educationally strong. And the show ABSOLUTELY MUST promote reading and encourage kids to read! This is done by introducing them to new books and series, reminding them of classics, talking about different types of materials they can check out from the Media Center and telling them what happens when they read every day (they learn to do all kinds of things, have all kinds of adventures and meet all kinds of people, to name a few!).

Looking to have THE BEST SCIENCE NIGHT or LITERACY NIGHT PROGRAM EVER? Ask about our Best Evening Meeting Ever discount when you call!

Tommy Johns Presents currently offers ten educationally significant programs for elementary audiences and three programs for middle and high school students, and we add at least one new program every year. Every program is packed with audience participation, comedy, music, magic, puppets and more and really motivates and encourages kids to continue their learning after the assembly ends by GOING TO THE LIBRARY!

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Take Me to Your Readers!

This brand new show celebrates reading AND all things outer space with magic, puppets, space aliens, a game show and more! The program features a variety of books, uses a lot of volunteers and is hilarious!

But it’s not just another entertaining show! Woven into every routine is the message that readers can do almost anything! Books highlighted in the program include biographies, fiction and nonfiction, award winners, picture books, series and more. Your young readers will LOVE the stories and the fun and will make their way straight to the media center to check out the books we discussed! And the teachers are going to love this show too!

“I have been an elementary school teacher for 25 years and that was, by far, the best school assembly program I have ever seen!”
2nd Grade Teacher, Chatsworth GA

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Build a Better Story!

Build a Better Story teaches the elements of a good story, the importance of careful attention to detail and word choice, and how everyone can be a writer! From the very first moment of the show, your students are reminded of how a powerful story can pull you in and take you to wonderful places!

This fun program encourages reading as a way to become a better writer and includes classic and new picture books, chapter books and other library resources. And of course it includes magic and puppets and audience participation, just like all of our other amazing shows! Your students will help rewrite a classic fairy tale at each performance and they will get to see their story online so they can add to it, illustrate it and show it to their families!

My prediction? This is going to become one of the favorite shows in the line up!

“We all love your shows!”
Yehymmy Mora, Director, North Fulton Child Development Association, Roswell, GA

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I Love to Read!

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I Love to Read! is the most popular show in the lineup! This 45-minute assembly program is an interactive educational production that is part storytelling, part magic show, part game show and 100% FUN. I Love to Read shows kids just how much can happen when they LOVE to read!

I Love to Read! features unusual puppets, crazy comedy, magic and audience participation to show how books can magically let readers meet all kinds of people, have all kinds of adventures and learn to do all kinds of things! New books as well as classics and award winners are featured in the show. A part of this program also teaches the importance of taking care of library books and returning them EARLY!

Over and over we reinforce the importance of picking up a book and reading EVERY DAY. This unforgettable show will have your kids talking about the reading program for weeks to come!

“Tommy Johns is a fabulous performer. The kids love him and he always holds their attention. The show is just as much fun for the adults as it is for the children.”

Monica Davis, Stevenson Library, Stevenson, AL

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What about a state history show?

Sure! I can do that, too!

You can help your students and staff answer the question “What’s So Great About Our State?” by hosting this fun and fast paced assembly program at your school! 

(SPOILER ALERT: The answer is “A LOT!”)

This educational and inspiring program features puppets, magic, comedy, a game show segment and lots of fun facts about our AMAZING state! We answer the question “What’s So Great About Our State?” by talking about our Positive People, Amazing Agriculture, Splendid State Symbols, Fantastic Firsts and MORE! It’s a JAM-PACKED 45 minute interactive program that your students will talk about for weeks!

The Alabama program is ready now. The Georgia program will be ready by fall 2020.

Thank you so much for the wonderful job you did here at the Munford (AL) Public Library.

The kids LOVE you! Looking forward to next year.”

Jenny Trickett, Munford Public Library

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Not Every Hero Wears a Cape!

heroNot Every Hero also teaches kids what it means to be a hero. As we introduce the books in the show, we talk about the heroes we see every day like police officers, firefighters, teachers, parents, and MEDIA SPECIALISTS! But the show focuses on how your students can be heroes. All it takes is knowledge in your head, a desire in your heart, and the courage to take action. It all boils down to doing the right thing.

We talk about liking yourself, working with others and making a positive difference in he lives of others. There is a brief anti-bullying message as well. Hilarious puppets Roosevelt Rat and Claudia the Hippo help us along the way as we explore and discover the hero inside of us all.

The show closes with a discussion (and a cool magical effect) using the VERY popular book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud and David Messing.

BONUS: Since there is a strong character education message in the program, you may even be able to work with your school counselor to provide or help provide funding for this program!

“You bring magic to life by motivating young minds to try their best! I love the way you involve the students. Asking volunteers to come up on stage is always exciting. Everything was fantastic!! Excellent! See you next year!”

Sammi McGowan, Teacher, Canton, GA
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I Had This Crazy Dream! is a program that encourages BIG DREAMS! This show introduces elementary and middle school students to seven people who had big dreams and worked to make those dreams come true! Using magic, puppets, storytelling and audience interaction, your readers will meet Hank Aaron, Martha Berry, Harry Houdini, Ellen Ochoa, George Crum and Philo Farnsworth. Students (and teachers!) will laugh at Beauregard Buzzard telling the story that inspired Ellen Ochoa to become an astronaut and they will listen quietly to the story of home run king, Hank Aaron. They will be amazed at George Crum and the story of the potato chip and will be inspired by Martha Berry’s peanut idea.

In addition to inspiring kids to dream big (and to READ, of course), I Had This Crazy Dream! is a great show for a career awareness emphasis. We talk about the importance of having a dream, working hard to make that dream come true and how their teachers (including the media specialist) can help them find books that will allow them to explore possibilities and make their dreams a reality!

Tell your counselors about this program and they may even be able to use some of their funding to bring this READING show to your school!

“We just had Tommy Johns perform for the entire school and he was great. ‘Awesome’ was the comment of one of our 1st grade teachers! Tommy is very professional and entertaining. Another teacher commented that she really appreciated the fact that the assembly was so academically oriented.”

Karen Liebert, International Studies Elementary Charter School, Albany, GA

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Hi Media Specialist friends! I just wanted to take a minute to offer some praise to Mr. Tommy Johns! He came to our school yesterday and did his “I Love to Read!” presentation for our 2nd-5th graders. He arrived early, set up all by himself, and even helped seat the classes as they came in. He knew how to manage the kids and kept them HIGHLY engaged and amazed us all with his magic!

Also, our kids have been checking out books like crazy today after his awesome “pep talk!” Oh, and the dismissal was where his praise was highest with teachers!! You could hear a pin drop it was so quiet!!

Anyway, I have had LOTS of students and teachers asking when he is coming back! If you can, have him come to your school. He was totally worth it!

Mrs. Sarah K. Chancellor, Media Specialist, Heritage Elementary School, Macon, Georgia

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Go Wild! Science in Your Own Backyard!
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A Humorous and Engaging Tour of The Scientific Process

Tommy and his puppet friends will be taking your kids on a wild and imaginary tour of their backyards, neighborhoods, and community parks. Through puppetry, magic and storytelling, Tommy and his furry and feathered (puppet) friends will teach young readers about how to use the Scientific Process to answer questions about their own environment. It looks like a science show, but it is all about getting kids excited about READING!

Along the way everyone will learn interesting facts about the plants and animals that live among us everyday, from color changing lizards, and inventive birds, to animals that change forms.

Get ready for another fun, educational, and entertaining program that will have your kids racing for books and talking about the show months after it’s over.

“I especially liked the integration of books and reading with the magic and puppets. The puppets and magic were especially well received by the audience.”

Amy Billings, Gwinnett County Public Libraries

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Simple Machines Made Simple!

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This hands-on workshop, developed in conjunction with staff from the National Science Center in Augusta, GA, allows learners to handle wheels, pulleys, levers, wedges, incline planes and screws in a way that makes abstract concepts “concrete” (yes, the pun was intended!).

Tommy comes in dressed as a construction worker, but the children from the audience are the ones who do the work.

Your tactile learners will come to life as they help figure out how to lift a 50 pound bucket of rocks with a 5 pound weight, and why a wedge is such a handy tool. Using levers, your youngest students will be able to easily accomplish feats that NO human being can accomplish bare handed. This is a presentation that will be remembered and talked about for a VERY long time.

Teachers will have no problem tying lessons into the subjects taught. And because the program also promotes reading and media center resources, it is a program that everyone appreciates! We look at and discuss biographies of inventors, discover that men women and CHILDREN can invent cool stuff, and even look at fictional inventors.

Throughout the program, the kids learn how simple machines help us “Work Smarter, Not Harder.”

“Mr. Johns came to McKibben Lane and did the presentation for students and parents for Literacy Night.  It was awesome.  He was so entertaining and the message was great.”

Jane Hardy, Media Specialist, McKibben Lane Elementary, Columbus, GA

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Arctic Express!

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This holiday season treat the kids to a program that’s trainloads of fun, filled with puppets, magic, storytelling, music, and audience participation. This imaginary train ride magically takes kids around the world to learn about winter holidays like: Diwali, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Chinese New Year, Hanukkah and of course, Christmas.

Yes, the program is educationally significant (we can’t help ourselves, we are obsessed with creating the most educational programs available without compromising entertainment value), and yes, the program strongly encourages children to read. But don’t think for a minute that the show is anything less than sheer delight for everyone, including teachers and staff. When you hear the sleigh bell ring at the end of the show, you won’t be the only one to wipe a tear from your eye.

This is a show children will remember for the rest of their lives.

“Our teachers loved the show as much as the students. They asked me to get you back to our school next year! (You were) so easy to work with and book. Everything exceeded expectations.”

Sherry Plant, Assistant Principal, Meridianville, AL​​