What is the difference between the live and virtual programs? – They are almost indistinguishable from each other! Using green-screen technology and live, text-based feedback, the program is just as interactive and dynamic virtually as it is live! The only difference between the programs is a physical presence. As an added bonus, the virtual program is cheaper as it eliminates the need for multiple shows due to space considerations.
What themes do your presentations cover? – The main theme of the presentations (k – college) is that we all possess a superpower within us: Kindness. How we choose to use that superpower is up to us. Presentations for grades 3 and up are based on our personal story of how kindness lifted us up in our darkest hour and how the resulting movement we started to “pay it forward” literally grew worldwide. Other themes covered include the power of perspective, overcoming adversity and the science of kindness.
Do you mention the death of your son? – The k-2 presentations do not make any reference to my son at all… Those presentations use the book I wrote, “A Little Rees Specht Cultivates Kindness” as the centerpiece of the presentation. The main theme remains the same, except it does not make any reference to our personal story at all. For grades 3-5 our personal story is used, however I simply refer to what happened to Rees as a “terrible accident” and do not elaborate on it. For the higher levels, I do tell the whole story.
Do you do bullying prevention? – I get asked this question all of the time and the answer is a resounding YES! I never overtly mention bullying in the presentation but, to me, encouraging kindness is the ONLY way to prevent bullying. As an educator I saw countless presentations that were supposedly about bullying prevention, when in reality they were more about treating its symptoms. My presentation will encourage your students to actively engage in kindness… Children who actively practice kindness and empathy are much less likely to bully.
How much is the travel stipend for schools outside the Long Island/NY Metro area? – If your school opts for payment option 1 (Free show option with the “Seeds of kindness sale) there is NO travel stipend! For all other options, any schools outside of the Long Island/NY Metro area, or the greater Raleigh-Durham area, we do charge a travel stipend to cover the cost of travel and lodging that will vary depending on distance and length of stay. The stipend is capped at $750.00 for all presentations in the continental U.S.
Do you offer a multi-school discount? – Absolutely! If you wish to book a program and you can get multiple schools to join you, we will work out a discounted group price.
How long are the presentations? – The k-2 presentation is generally about 30 minutes. Grades 3-5 is approximately 40/45 minutes. Middle School and H.S. can be accommodated within a 41 minute period, but it works best as a 1 hour presentation.
Do you only speak at schools? – I will speak anywhere that will have me! I have special rates for Girl Scout/ Boy Scout troops, religious instruction groups, youth groups etc.
Can you tailor the program to a specific theme? – If you have something specific that you would like me to mention in the presentation, I can usually work it in if you give me advanced notice.
What is your cancellation policy? – I assume 100% of the financial risk if a show is cancelled. I do not require a deposit so I am booking with each school in good faith.
When do you expect payment? – As a former educator I am well aware of the financial maze some schools must navigate. As such, I reasonably expect to be paid within 30 days of the performance(s).
Are you registered with BOCES? – I am a registered artist with both Nassau and Suffolk County BOCES arts in education. You can find our program listed under “story telling” under the name ReesSpecht Life.
We are a small school and would love to have you come, but it’s not financially feasible. Can you work with us on the pricing? – Most small schools simply choose the “Seeds of Kindness” Free Show option which solves this problem. If, for any reason, you cannot take advantage of the free option, the ReesSpecht Life Foundation does offer Grants that can help offset the cost of the program. Additionally, there are many other ways to find financial assistance. Contact your Rotary Club, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, the Masons or another local non-profit focused on health and well-being of children in your community. Another option is to get the students involved in a fundraiser campaign so they can be a big part in bringing this life changing event to their school. If those avenues fail, give us a call! – I will work with you on the price!
Are you affiliated with the ReesSpecht the Water School shows and End Drowning Now? – End Drowning Now, the ReesSpecht the Water school shows, and the Cultivate Kindness™ school shows are all branches of the ReesSpecht Life Foundation. Since I do not personally perform the ReesSpecht the Water school shows I do not promote it here on this site. You can however refer to our foundation webpage at www.reesspechtlife.com/rsw for more information about End Drowning Now and our water safety awareness shows.