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Long ago, before I was an illustrator and author, I used to teach art to elementary students during the school year and then work as a camp counselor during the summer. Engaging with children has always been a big part of my life. Now that I spend most of my working life in front of a drawing board, it’s nice to be able to get out and meet with the kids that inspire me. So a couple times each year, I pack up my slideshow, my magic red marker, and drawing supplies to schools across the country and get my kid fix. Read more below to find out how you can have me come to your school.

For each visit, I can do three assemblies or classrooms throughout the day. Each presentation generally lasts for fifty minutes, and includes a slideshow of my process, some storytelling, and depending on the age group, some drawing instruction or imagination activity. It’s best if each assembly is grouped by similar grade levels (for instance, 4th-5th graders all in one group). An additional 45 minutes will be available for book signing at the end of the day. Included in the visit is a personalized giclée print from Journey for your school that will arrive the week after my visit.

My presentation works for all grades (including upper elementary and beyond) and can adapt the program to fit the age and abilities of the students.

CALENDAR: I’m currently booking local events (MA/CT/southern NH and VT) through the 2016-2017 school year and have some limited availability for a tour that is currently planned in PA/NJ in April 2017. I’m also beginning to put together a tour in Switzerland, the UK, and Italy for May of 2017. If you’re in another part of the country (or world!), you can always email my tour facilitator (below) and we will keep you in mind for the future or if there’s room in my schedule for an additional visit.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS: I’ll need a microphone for larger groups and definitely a projector with speakers for all presentations. I hookup my device using my own cables and remote and generally this goes off without a hitch. A wireless mic is preferred but not necessary. When I arrive at your school, we’ll take some time to make sure everything is working.

FEES: $2000/per full day. All travel and accommodation will be booked on our end but then later split between the participating schools for each tour. By scheduling several schools during a week of travel, this will help keep costs down for everyone.

For any local schools within an hour’s drive from Amherst, MA I can offer a reduced rate of $1800.

BOOKING: Please contact Aimee at aaronbeckervisits@gmail.com to request a visit.

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE VISIT: About four weeks out from the event, try your hand at “reading” Journey to your class. You can download my guide to reading a wordless picture book here. This would also be a good time to get your order in place if students wish to preorder books. See below for details on that. Then, a few days before the visit, bring out the book again and have them tell you the story. You can get them excited about the upcoming visit by showing my documentary about the making of Journey and the trailers for JourneyQuest, and Return. Leading up to the big day, plan on having your students do some writing or drawing exercises related to the books. You can click on my Teacher Resource page for a list of suggestions or make up your own! Downloading the Journey Trilogy Activity Kit is a good place to start. Getting the students involved with the story as creators will get them primed and ready and also give them something to show off during our event!

PREORDER BOOKS: I’m unable to sell books directly, but there are a couple easy ways to preorder books for your students. Click here for ordering information.