In-Person Visits

Due to circumstances pertaining to COVID-19 and for the safety of all participants, in-person visits are suspended until further notice.

Virtual Author Visits

It would be my pleasure to join your school, classroom, special interest group, or library. Virtual visits are one of my favourite things to do for ‘The Amazing Zoe’ readers. Please see below for details.

In-Person Visits

*Due to circumstances pertaining to COVID-19 and for the safety of all participants, in-person visits are suspended until further notice.

Virtual Author Visits

It would be my pleasure to join your school, classroom, special interest group, or library. Virtual visits are one of my favourite things to do for ‘The Amazing Zoe’ readers. Please see below for details.

Get ready to be ‘WOW’ed! We are bringing you a cultural explosion of African-Caribbean-inspired art through literature, and dance. Presented by bestselling children’s author, Valene Campbell and special guest. This program is best suited for students K-grade 5. Schools can opt for 1 or 2 assembly sessions: K-3rd grade, and 4-5th grade. Individual class sessions can also be arranged for a read-aloud and diversity presentation, only. Different rates will apply.

Students will receive an engaging read-aloud experience with a book of their choice from the series. It will include a 10 min Q & A. Sing along/dance along not included.

My Q & A period is an opportunity for classes/groups to ask me questions about ‘The Amazing Zoe’ series, my writing experience and what steps students can take in order to publish their own book. Students will follow the steps I use for my personal journey of character and story development. They will be guided through a brainstorming session that encourages creativity and will set them well on their path to writing their first book. *Read aloud/sing along/dance along NOT included

I offer 70-minute sessions that will allow your class/group to take a deeper dive into a specialized interactive lesson plan. This session will include the following:

  • Explore the importance of diversity

  • Read-aloud with book of choice from the series

  • Appropriate words and terms to use that speak to inclusion.

  • Diversity Discussion and powerpoint presentation (Literature, art, film)

  • Personal perspective as a Canadian, BIPOC author

  • 1-Diversity and inclusion activity

  • Q & A

Every school, or organization is unique and has its own mission. I’m happy to work with you to create an impactful and memorable experience for your students or employees. Schools that wish to group 3 or more classes simultaneously, will be considered an ‘assembly’. Different rates will apply for small and large school assemblies.

I offer 70-minute sessions that will allow your class/group to take a deeper dive into a specialized interactive lesson plan and diversity experience. This session will include the following:

  • Explore the importance of diversity

  • Read-aloud with book of choice from the series

  • Appropriate words and terms to use that speak to inclusion.

  • Diversity Discussion and powerpoint presentation (Literature, art, film)

  • Personal perspective as a Canadian, BIPOC author

  • 1-Diversity and inclusion activity

  • Sing along/dance along

  • Q & A


1/2 Day School Visit:
All of the above, including the writing workshop
 

Corporate Diversity Presentations are are included in my offerings. The goal of my diversity presentation is to assist with creating a workplace where all employees feel validated and seen. Studies reveal that diversity is necessary in the workplace because it will increase employee morale and instill a desire to be more effective and work more efficiently.

What place do children’s books have in the corporate workplace? Children’s stories help us return to the fundamentals of what it means to respect and appreciate others. Some of the unique or forgotten lessons of acceptance and tolerance are reintroduced in the simplicity of children’s literature. 

Speaking points include:

  • Why diversity is important in children’s book?
  • How to analyze children’s books for racism (this translates in to YA and adult books)
  • Break down stereotypes and biases of a character’s lifestyle
  • Review of adjectives that describe characters
  • Review of illustrations
  • How to choose unbiased storylines
  • Choose from any of The Amazing Zoe themes to discuss key points of the story

Corporate presentations include a speaking fee and book purchases for attendees. Bulk purchases of 100 or more will receive a discounted rate.

Please contact me to discuss additional details, we will work together to arrive at a suitable plan.

Here are a few ‘housekeeping’ items that I would like to share with you, to help create a smooth booking process.

  1. I recommended that your title of choice is read in advance, for either the promotional or paid sessions. This helps create excitement for the students, it will increase engagement and will give them something extra special to look forward to. Imagine being at a concert, you know very little about the artist, and don’t know any of the songs? It’s most enjoyable when you have familiarity and can ‘sing’ along. *Please no sharing of books or receipts when scheduling an author visit, even if you are booking from the same school.

     

  2. School principals/administrators/organizations are asked to please provide me with all the teacher’s names prior to the visit. This way, I will be able to call upon each class and address each teacher for their time to ask questions.  

     

  3. For single class sessions, teachers are asked to help students prepare up to 8 questions in advance. For larger school assemblies, each class will be allowed up to 3 questions that can be asked by either the student or teacher. Preparing question ahead of time will help guide our discussion, will ensure each student feels represented by their class, and will ensure an easier transition between each class. 

  4. Depending on the platform you use, (Zoom, Google Meets, etc.) please remember to provide the link at a minimum of, 2 hours prior to the virtual visit. This will allow us time to ‘troubleshoot’ in case there are any unforeseen technical difficulties.

     

  5. For paid visits, I accept PayPal and credit card payments. Payment in full is due prior to your session. In your virtual visit request form, kindly include all necessary details for a formal invoice. It will be emailed to you upon booking. (Please include: contact name, address of the location etc.)

     

  6. Once your virtual session is confirmed, I will forward you a ‘meet and greet’ sheet to be emailed to the parents of each student. The sheet includes a short biography, descriptions of the books, and a few main objectives about what the students will learn from each story. This is a great way for me to introduce myself, and involve parents in the author visit experience. The sheet also includes where the books can be purchased, should the parents wish to include ‘The Amazing Zoe’ in their home library. Kindly send out your email at least 1-day in advance of our scheduled time.

     

  7. Cancellations. I know things may come up, therefore I am happy to accommodate the change in your schedule. Please allow a minimum of 24 hours’ notice. We can reschedule an available date/time that works for you.

     

  8. Please note, the currently listed rates are for classroom settings that consist of 22 students or less. For each additional child, there will be a charge of $5. Alternately, you may choose to opt for a larger assembly.

  9. When booking corporate presentations, please indicate the length of time, required, the number of attendees, date and any particular speaking points as listed above. Presentations will be based on the message in your book of choice in addition to a dialogue about the importance of diverse literature and diversity advocacy. Corporations can also choose from any title or combination of ‘The Amazing Zoe’ series books. Please indicate the title and number of each book in your order.

     

  10. Lastly, how did you enjoy the presentation? Your feedback is important to me and helps to ensure an ultimate experience with your class. Please email me your response and kindly leave your review of the book on the platform to which you have purchased. Referrals are also welcome.

How Parents & Teachers Can Advocate for Equity in Schools

The topics of race and racism can be difficult, but what is even more difficult are the true accounts of children who are discriminated against, bullied or worse, based on the colour of their skin or varying physical abilities.

Some parents and educators may feel unequipped or unprepared for such complex issues. There are a number of studies on race relations that indicate children have an awareness of varying skin tones as early as preschool. Children may begin excluding their peers of different races from play and other activities (Winkler 2009). Still, many parents or educators of young children are often reluctant to discuss race and racial differences, having the opinion that an early introduction could be harmful. So what is the solution? Conversations on race must be age-appropriate, bite-sized, ongoing conversations throughout the school year and should not be left exclusively to national days or months of recognition.

Heres are a few tips on how you can become an advocate:

  1. As a parent or educator, begin reading for yourself. You can only be as effective with any given topic based on your own place of knowledge. Learn full accounts of Black history, pre-colonialism
  2. Expand your circle beyond a homogenous groups of friends, community members or family
  3. Understand that racism can be unlearned. Racist systems can also be dismantled. Your goal is to unlearn and dismantle racism where it shows up around you, then SPEAK UP!
  4. Don’t let mistakes, mishaps, or missteps prevent you from seeking understanding. Humility and apologies are always best to move everyone forward
  5. Request/purchase diverse books and stories by diverse authors to your classrooms, home/school library or community library.
  6. If you do not know how to approach the topic of race, request special speakers, diverse authors or community members who are versed on the said subject matter. 

What Teachers are Saying…

Duke (Grade 1 teacher, Peel Region)
5/5
The Children Were Glued!
“I read this to my grade 1 virtual class, after hearing a rave review from a colleague. The children were glued (and not all books engage them completely). It is a relatable story for the kids, and it holds a powerful lesson. We also went to the author’s website and booked an author’s visit. She came to our virtual classroom, prepared, patient, joyful and the class was engaged and excited to have her. Highly recommend!”
Nicky (Grade 1 teacher, Peel Region)
5/5
This Book Matters
An amazing book for children of all ages, but particularly those in grades K-3. My students absolutely loved it and it raised so many interesting discussions and conversations about the similarities and differences we all have. Valene Campbell took the very big ideas of racism and wrote in a way that children could really wrap their minds around. She visited our classroom virtually to discuss her book and brought so much joy and energy! I would highly recommend this book to parents and educators!
Carolyn (Grade 3 teacher, Durham Region)
5/5
Approached A Difficult Topic with Fairness
The class loved the book and the presentation. I especially appreciate how Valene approached fairness and injustice in a way that is age-appropriate and engaging for primary students. My students were so intrigued and instantly wanted to learn more about the royalty of Africa. Again, thank you for helping to change the landscape of children’s books and helping families engage in much-needed conversations in a safe and age-appropriate way.
Liene (Grade 1 teacher, Peel Region)
5/5
The Kids Were So Engaged!
Valene you were incredible. The kids were so engaged with you. You built a relationship with the class almost immediately and created a real community feeling. The egg discussion was fantastic as was your use of visuals to support your presentation. I would 100 percent love to have you back. I feel like you have a natural charisma as a presenter and really admired the passion you have for educating students. Thank you so much for coming in!

Schools | Libraries | Book Stores | Book Clubs

Are you an elementary school, library, bookstore or part of a special interest group? Take advantage of my special wholesale discounts.

Feel free to contact me directly, and I will get back to you with more information.

I’m happy to provide a number of free, comprehensive lesson plans as extension activities related to each of the Amazing Zoe books. Learn practical life skills that are applicable to students today, and for years to come.