Here’s where you’ll find all the specifics about Mr. Mike’s school visits!
All school visits include a poetry reading, Q&A, book signing, and Mr. Mike’s Poetry Challenge!
WHAT GRADES ARE THE ASSEMBLIES FOR?
K and up! Assemblies are geared for and enjoyed by all!
Never exclude any grades or classes!
Mr. Mike’s visits are for the whole school only!
(It is understood that schools on a ‘track’ schedule will not be able to have the students who are not in session attend.)
Grades can be mixed any way that’s convenient for you (K’s and 6th grades could be in the room at the same time), but most schools usually tend to keep the lower grades together and the upper grades together.
Please Note: Pre-K are not encouraged to attend.
PLANNING THE DAY’S SCHEDULE:
1 hour for each assembly with at least a 15 minute break in between.
(More on what that whole hour is used for will follow a few lines down…)
Assemblies are usually scheduled back to back (with the 15 minute break) but can also be scheduled split before and after lunch. You should also consider the “Lunch With Mr. Mike” option for a small group of students (more on that later). Your PTA/O should be involved in helping out that day.
HOW MANY ASSEMBLIES?
If you have a small school (under 300 students), then you may need only one assembly, however if you don’t have enough space, Mr. Mike can do 2 assemblies (sometimes three) for larger schools (500+ students) to ensure that all students are able to participate. Sorry, Mr. Mike is not available to do more than 3 assemblies in one day.
Please note: if all your students can fit into the room for one assembly – then Mr. Mike will do one assembly… if all your students can fit into the room for two assemblies, then Mr. Mike will do two assemblies, etc…
Please don’t try to schedule more assemblies than are actually needed just for convenience reasons – or to avoid mixing grade levels – or to keep groups small – Mr. Mike is only able to provide the number of assemblies needed based on the room’s occupancy capacity and he is used to reading to very large groups! If you’ve got a very large school with lots of students, 3 assemblies is fine.
If you’ve got a very small presentation area forcing 3 assemblies, that’s fine too!
Assemblies can start as early as 9:30 a.m. or later (doesn’t have to be 9:30).
*If Mr. Mike will be in your area for a several-day/week-long book tour of several schools, then the start times CAN be as early as 9:00 a.m., only if necessary… sometimes as early as 8:45/30 if you really, really need to!
*If you’re unable to have the whole school attend the assemblies even with an after lunch presentation, let us know – we might be able to work it out, depending on where you’re located.
ASSEMBLIES ARE SCHEDULED FOR 1 HOUR EACH:
Here’s what to expect…
Time to get students in the door, seated and settled.
The reading lasts about 25 minutes and includes a selection of poetry from Swimming in Chocolate, Lemon Drop Rain, New Pet and Over the Top.
Some poems are short and cute – others longer like a story – some are even a little bit gross!
Mr. Mike talks about the writing process, shows examples of his original writing and illustrations, and emphasizes the importance of writing and rewriting and rewriting!!! Mr. Mike will sometimes read new material – a unique opportunity to hear works in progress that haven’t been published yet! This is a fast-paced, fun and interactive presentation that easily holds that attention of even the Kindergarten students! Mr. Mike doesn’t sit in a rocking chair and read… he’s up and about!
He doesn’t dress up like a clown or have any other ‘acts’ to put on. This is a real poetry reading and you’re gonna love it!!!
After the reading, Mr. Mike answers questions for about 15 minutes.
Questions can be about anything:
How long does it take to write a poem?
How is a book published?
Students should prepare their questions in advance.
At the end of each assembly Mr. Mike signs books for the students who have pre-ordered. Schools are provided with an order form flier included in the preparation packet. The flier is personalized to the school with the date of Mr. Mike’s visit. Schools distribute the flier prior to Mr. Mike’s visit.
(For public schools requesting free assemblies, book sales cover the cost of the event in lieu of
Mr. Mike’s usual fee.) Books are personalized to the student and signed by Mr. Mike. This is a very special moment for most students who have never met an author before!!! This process is repeated for each assembly.
On the way out: Students will have an opportunity see some neat stuff! Visual displays may include photos of actual printing presses and binding equipment, samples of production book covers, etc.
Mr. Mike also brings posters with original artwork and examples of how the poems and illustrations are developed. Literacy promotion and exposure to the ‘real world of writing and illustrating’ as well as a taste of book production are the focus.
MR. MIKE’S POETRY CHALLENGE:
All students will write a poem a few weeks prior to Mr. Mike’s visit and each class will have their poems displayed throughout the school and/or in the assembly room! This gives plenty of time for students, teachers and administrators to see the posters and read the hundreds of poems!
It’s really, really cool!
Mr. Mike will tour the school and read the poems on the day of his visit! Mr. Mike is very impressed by students’ writing and wants your students to know how much he appreciates their thoughtfulness and efforts to write poetry! A fun ‘Mr. Mike’s Poetry Challenge’ form is included in the preparation packet. For the youngest students, simply writing down rhyming words works great!
By the time Mr. Mike arrives… we’ll all be poets and illustrators!
CAN MR. MIKE VISIT ON MORE THAN ONE DAY?
We wish we could say, ‘yes’, but Mr. Mike’s visits are one day only. Any school (public or private) interested in additional days will pay the standard fee for the additional day. If your school is interested in doing this, your dates will be limited as preference is given to multiple schools.
* School MUST be in session 2 weeks before AND 1 week after Mr. Mike’s visit.
* Assemblies MUST be indoors in an Auditorium or MPR.
* Sorry, no evening or night events!
* Assemblies/Visits are held RAIN or FOG or SNOW or even if a giant monster attacks!
(more on this a bit further down…)
Additional preparation info., helpful tips and free books for the library will be included in the Preparation Packet after your date is secured:
- FREE copies of ‘Swimming in Chocolate‘, ‘Lemon Drop Rain‘, ‘Over the Top‘ and ‘New Pet‘ for use in the library to read to students.
- PTA/O Sign Up Sheet for help with putting on the event.
- Mr. Mike photos – for use in your displays.
- Flat Book Covers – for displays or as posters.
- Helpful information on how to prepare for the event.
- ‘Mr. Mike’s Poetry Challenge’ student form and instructions.
- A letter to teachers letting them know what’s going on.
- A list of cool writing and art activities.
- A book preorder form flier (English & Spanish) personalized to your school.
- Information on how to handle book orders.
- Confirmation showing the details of Mr. Mike’s visit (which will need to be signed by your principal and faxed/sent back to confirm your date).
For obvious reasons, please do not schedule Mr. Mike’s visits within one month AFTER a book fair since it adversely affects book sales. This is especially true for public schools requesting free assemblies where book sales will be accepted in lieu of Mr. Mike’s usual fee.
Students will have the opportunity to purchase books using an order form flier which will be included in the preparation packet. Schools wanting to purchase a quantity of books may use school checks or a P.O. We’ll be happy to provide an invoice per your request. There is no minimum required # of book sales and no ’surprise’ invoices or anything like that! Schools are not required to meet any minimum # of sales or any minimum $ amount. This is true even for schools in low socioeconomic areas. We stress that PREPARATION is key to making your event a great one!
If you and your school are well-prepared and ready for a great event with Mr. Mike, then book sales will be adequate.
FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE DEAF:
If you have staff who will be using sign language during the presentation, you should check out the “Most Likely To Be Read” list of poems in the School Login section (the School Login section will be accessible to you after your date has been scheduled – if you try to go there now, you won’t get in!) There you’ll find a list in pdf format. You can photocopy the poems from the books a week or so before the event and provide them to the people doing the signing. This will give them time to review the poems and plan on how they’d like to do the signing. Also, Mr. Mike is available to wear wireless, hands-free microphones you may need for individual students and/or classes.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO RECORDING:
Taking photographs and making video recordings for school use (such as personal photos with Mr. Mike, for yearbooks & school websites, etc.) IS ALLOWED.
Commercial Photography and Video Recording for duplication or resale IS NOT ALLOWED!
Schools often invite their local newspaper to visit during the event. This is a great opportunity to show some of the cool things going on at your school! Beetle Bug Books and author Mr. Mike do grant permission for the press to use book cover images, photographs provided in the packet, short quotes, etc. as per respective copyrights. Please let Mr. Mike know in advance if you have invited the press.
The best access time for short interviews is between assemblies (not in the morning during set-up). You might find it helpful to prepare a Press Release about the event (on your school’s letterhead) for your local newspaper.
RAIN OR FOG OR SNOW- The Show Must Go On!
Mr. Mike’s visits are scheduled ‘Rain or Fog or Snow’ months in advance.
Please be sure you have back-up plan in the event that you are using a multi-purpose room where students might be eating lunch on a rainy day, etc. On the Assembly Request Form, you’ll let us know if weather could be an issue… we’ll work with you to figure out a back-up plan.
BAD WEATHER BACK-UP PLAN OPTIONS:
When bad weather changes things, it’s no fun for anyone! It’s much easier to ’save the day’ when you have a back-up plan just in case… Usually, though the weather does not cause a problem.
If your event is to be held in a room that isn’t used for lunch or other activities, then everything will probably go as planned. If your room is to be used for lunch on rainy days, for example, then minor changes in assembly start times are usually all it takes to make things work. Another option is for students to eat lunch in their classes, something many schools do on rainy days anyway.
In extreme situations, when buses are delayed due to fog, etc., it may be necessary to make major adjustments to the schedule. In this case, one or more of the assemblies could be delayed or canceled. The book signing table could be set up in the library and Mr. Mike could meet students there. These are just a few ideas. You’ll be the best judge of what will work for your school.
SUBMIT THE ASSEMBLY REQUEST FORM…
You can use the form on this site OR the Email request form… both page links are to the right. Once we receive your request, we will review it… and if the form is complete and everything looks good, we’ll get in touch with you by email to schedule a date or request additional information. Details, such as when you’ll receive the preparation packet, etc. will be worked out via email.
Note: If you’re coordinating with other schools in your area, then we’ll wait to receive their request forms. We can’t process your request if the other schools you are coordinating with don’t submit the form!
In the meantime, all dates are still up for grabs! After we have all the forms in, you’ll be contacted by email. Please note that we do not send emails to schools that have not contacted us, it’s their responsibility to get their forms in.
After a date has been set, a confirmation/preparation packet will be sent to you.
It’s very important to look the packet over as soon as you get it and return the enclosed confirmation form right away.