Today I had a fantastic author visit at the Overtown Youth Center in Miami, FL. Last year some very caring people donated funds so my books could go to children who could most benefit from them. So I was thrilled to be able to deliver 100 books to this outstanding organization.
Since 2003, the Overtown Youth Center has provided a variety of youth enrichment programs to foster learning and empowerment in inner-city children who may not otherwise have these resources available to them. Among their programs, they offer academic support, after school services, summer camps, creative arts, physical fitness and nutrition programs, family activities and more in a beautiful facility in Overtown.
The elementary school kids learned about the process of making a book, what inspires an author and about the plants, animals and climate of the rain forest.
Introductions by TK Pratt, Overtown Youth Center Community Relations Coordinator
Learning about how we recorded the book on CD
How my grandparents inspired me to create the characters Grandma Nellie and Grandpa Willie in the book
Learning why stick bugs are at risk in the rainforest
It may be gross, but we learn that birds are responsible for planting trees because they poop out seeds they eat!
A group celebration with just some of the many elementary students who each get a free book
Middle School Program
These kids, who are all interested in writing learned about the difference between traditional and self-publishing, writing inspiration, the importance of reading, geography literacy and how to stay fit and have energy if you want to be a visiting author.
Discussing countries I wrote about, including Madagascar, as a travel writer for cruise lines
Answering questions about what it takes to be an author
Showing off some of the benefits of my hard work as a stair runner
Challenged to do some men’s push ups
Middle school students who love to read and write pose with their Lilly Badilly books
I want to thank TK Pratt for inviting me to visit and welcoming me with open arms. The elementary students helped me drag big maps and five big boxes of books out of may car, and they did all the heavy lifting for me! All the children were so kind and respectful, it was a total pleasure. Also a big thank you to teacher Diana Gibson, who was so supportive of my program with the middle school students. There are some amazing programs available for children in my South Florida community, and Overtown Youth Center is at the top of the list. I look forward to another visit soon!