Friday, March 26, 2010

Great ideas for schools #1: One school donated me to another

At first glance, this image above may look like an error message or a botched Red Cross symbol, but it is the Alabama flag.

On 3/24/10, I made my first trip to that state and spoke at two schools. But I'd booked only one. That school booked the other.

That school is Randolph School, in Huntsville. A college friend, Jon, is an administrator there. Randolph paid for three presentations but (as we planned in advance) generously "donated" one of them to Madison Cross Roads Elementary, a nearby Title 1 school; that means it has a large number of students from low-income families. Jon even drove me to and from Madison Cross Roads and took photos for me while I was presenting there.

Back at Randolph, I signed copies of Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman before and between presentations:

Huntsville is nicknamed Rocket City. What guy doesn't like rockets? (Well, I could similarly ask, "What guy doesn't like watching baseball?" and the answer to that would be me.) Anyway, en route to the airport, I stopped at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. That's where Space Camp is, as well as this actual-size replica rocket:

I'm sure there is precedent for a school donating an author presentation to a less privileged school. But this was the first time it had happened with me in my six years of school visits. I was deeply honored to have a role in Randolph's selfless gesture. I'm hoping other schools will follow their lead.

One small step for one author, one giant leap for author visits?

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