Tough economic times are here and most schools and their districts have cut back on such "luxuries" as having an author visit a school for a day. But there are many things an individual school can do to "find" money for an author's honorarium.
Tough economic time are here and most schools and their districts have cut back on such "luxeries" as having an author visit a school for a day. I've had experience on both ends of this problem as a teacher and as an author. Some schools aren't just on a "shoe string budget"; their shoe strings are broken and tied. But there are many things an individual school can do to find money for an author's honorarium and expenses if the author is coming from another community or state. Check with your Parent Teacher Organization to see if their budget can handle it. Many PTO/PTA's main reason for being is to raise funds for worthy projects. What is more important than firing kids up to improve their reading and writing by having a "real" author visit the school? Approach local businesses for donations. Explain to each business owner how important having and author visit might be in the lives of some children. Then ask them to help in whatever way they can. Check into grants from local charitable foundations and apply for them. Visit the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators web site (www.scbwi.org) and check out their grant application for schools to have author visit. Make the day an "in house" field trip. My school has done this on more than one occasion to have special programs come to our campus. Field trip permission forms were sent home with each child asking for $1 for the cost. With over 500 students, more than enough came in to cover the cost of a half-day program. The few children who did not bring in their money still attended. When my own children were in elementary school, their field trip permission forms always had a line that went something like this: I have enclosed ______ extra to help children who may not be able to afford to attend. Even though our budget was tight, I usually put in an extra dollar or two. Those extra dollars add up quickly. Have a raffle. Many authors, especially Deborah Frontiera, are willing to donate one or two signed books for such a fund-raiser. Children can purchase as many "chances" as they want, and each school can set the price of a chance in accordance with the need. You can also raffle "author as house guest" in the winning student's home. Not all authors are willing to give this a try, but Deborah Frontiera is. This allows the school two benefits: the income from the raffle and not having to pay out money for the visiting author's motel bill. Share the cost with a nearby school with each school paying half of the full-day honorarium. Or get together with three other schools for two full days, thus four half days, with all four buildings sharing the author's expenses, which may be less because it is one trip instead of two. Finally, many authors are willing to work with schools when they are made aware of the fact that the school has high-risk children and a limited budget. Don't let the cost discourage you from asking.
Mention this article when contacting Deborah Frontiera to book your date and get an instant $50.00 discount.