To get the most out of Dan’s visit to your school, you should create awareness among the students, teachers and parents. You will have your own ideas as to what works best in your school but here are a few which work excellently:
CREATE EXCITEMENT ABOUT THE VISIT
A good way to start this is by telling pupils and staff about the visit during a school assembly. Tell everyone about Dan, share his books and his website, explain why he is coming to your school and how he will be helping you all.
Use your newsletters and website to spread the word to your whole school community.
BUILD LESSONS AROUND THE VISIT
Often a good way, is to build lessons around the forthcoming visit. This can be done by using the Jamie Johnson books as a tool.
Click here to see the fantastic teaching resources based around the books.
This ideal because now pupils will know about both me and the books before my arrival.
WATCH THE VIDEOS AND READ THE INTERVIEWS
There are several online videos of Dan talking about his books and characters, as well as some of him reading from the Jamie Johnson series. Check these out, and read a couple of the articles and interviews too. It will all help to familiarise the pupils with Dan and his books before the day.
BBC match of the day kick about introducing the brand new JJ TV show.
CREATE A DISPLAY
Create a display based on my books and football in general
(this pic below is from a recent school event)
Students often enjoy drawing their own pictures and using quotes and extracts from my books and career. It can be a very imaginative way to build anticipation.
OPPORTUNITY FOR SIGNED BOOKS
There will always be an opportunity for the school, pupils and teachers to buy signed books on the day. Either you can arrange this directly with a local bookseller or Dan can bring books with him.
In order to avoid pupils missing out on this opportunity because ‘they didn’t know they could get a book’ it’s a very good idea to send a letter home before the day. This will also give Dan a good idea of how many books he should bring with him.
We will send you a sample letter that you can adapt to your own school’s needs.
It really is a good idea to emphasise that meeting an author and getting a book signed by them is not an opportunity that comes around often (it never happened at my school!)
Work with the students to prepare some good questions for Dan. He often gives a prize for the best one during the visit, and we now have a new monthly competition for the best question during a visit! The prize is a signed set of Jamie Johnson books, so it’s definitely worth spending a little time doing this.
Invite your local paper or radio station to come and cover the event. This can often produce good publicity for the school. If they would like to speak to Dan ahead of the day, this is no problem.
See example from other school visits:
The Walthamstow Guardian
Many schools also publish articles on their own website, ahead of and after the day.
If you want to tweet about the visit to raise awareness, or some quotes and pictures from the day, Dan (@danfreedman99) will retweet to his own followers.
FILM THE DAY
How about getting some students from the school to put together a little film of the day? They can record the preparations, what people are expecting, some snippets (but not all) of Dan’s talk and then interview Dan, the pupils and teachers afterwards. This can be a great exercise, developing filming, interviewing and editing skills. We can also post it on the school’s and this website.
Have a look at this short clip from a recent primary school visit as an example:
ONE REQUEST FROM DAN!
Please introduce Dan to the students at the start of his talk and can teachers not do their marking during the talk! It’s far better and sets the right example if teachers are listening to and involved in the talk. Thanks.
By all means, contact Dan to discuss further…