Last week, I was invited to present for the Children’s Literacy Foundation (“CLiF”), a Vermont-based nonprofit that engages kids in reading and writing, with a focus on Vermont and New Hampshire schools and families. I love these folks!

The only catch: Unlike most author presentations I’ve done to date involving children and teachers as audience members, this one was done virtually. Compliments of the Coronavirus, thanks very much. And since my presentation was held during a holiday and while children were no longer holding school, the intent was to have the recording available to access later on in the future, at one’s convenience.

At first, this little caveat didn’t faze me, until I realized: How does a gal engage an audience of which you’ve no idea about? How can you read the room when there isn’t one? How do you gauge interest, when those who might be watching will not be present until after you’ve finished and the recording is posted? And HOW do I convert my usual in-person presentation into a virtual one when my classroom spiel typically involves a simultaneous array of objects being used, passed around and displayed, including but not limited to:

-An inflatable globe

-An anthology of Grimm Brothers fairy tales

-A war club from the South Pacific

-A silk kite from China

-A giant calligraphy brush

-A bone carving of Maui’s fishhook?

Answer: I have no idea. But one challenge I was able to overcome, was converting my bouncy globe into a map visual, and I learned a thing two about PowerPoint/Presentations animation. I kind of got into it! My favorite part? A hot air balloon traveling the Pacific … even though it had to go BEHIND the map to be geographically accurate.

So, thank you, CLiF, for all the great stuff you do, for giving me the opportunity to share my story … and for pushing me to learn a thing or two!

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