"You are a real life author?!" "I've never met an author!" "May I have your book forever?!" "READ IT AGAIN!" "You wrote the words?" "Can I be an author?" "Is Gabby real?" "No, I don't believe she's going to have a good day, because she lied before." "You read funny, Ms. Paula" (child referring to the author's animated reading style of each character)
"Is this ME?!" (a black child referring to the image of the lead character, Gabby) "Jonathan, you be screaming acting like Gabby. You don't be having a good day."
Kevin, a 4th grader. "I think there is a reason she acts like that. I would become her friend to show her how to act and find out why she acts like that. There is definitely a reason."
"She wants to be good because she wants ice cream. But it's hard because she wants to have fun." "She's a bully!"
"Yeah, she's a bully because she won't stop being mean after they told her to stop." "I like Gabby because she is funny!" "NO, she is not funny. She's mean to the teacher and all of them are crying!" "She told her mama she was good at school, but that is a lie."
"Gabby was yelling at the teacher. Her mom was mad at her." Outside, Max ran away from Gabby because she broke the fish bowl and hurt the goldfish. I wouldn't play with her."
"Is Gabby going to be good at school tomorrow?" "NO!" "YES, because her mom was sad!" "Ms. Paula, my students are still talking about your book and visit. They are anxious to find out if Gabby kept her promise to have a better school day."
From the Lens of 3-9 Year Olds
Are YOU interested in learning more about PJN's school/community/guest speaker visits?
Below, are some basic school visits details. Please review and email PJN Books with any questions, provide requested date, time, and location. We will contact you within 36-hours. Thank you for your support and have a beautiful day!
SCHOOL /COMMUNITY VISITS
Availability: Weekdays, Literacy Nights, & Weekends
Time limit: 1 hour minimum
Cost: $150.00 per hour (special note: any additional time over the 1-hour minimum is charged $75.00 per 30 minutes)
Which book are you choosing for the story read? 1. I'm Gonna Have A Good Day! or 2. Breathe, Gabby, Breathe!
Classroom, Library, or Assembly: Paula's energetic, animated, and interactive style of engagement with students during read aloud and role-playing scenarios allows students an enhance experience when two classrooms are combined at a time. However, she will work in collaboration with each school on what works best with their students, staff, and facility. Please provide comfy seating i.e. regular size adult chair.
Equipment & Technology: For large assemblies, author will need to connect personal HP laptop to the school's Smart Devices. If no Smart Board/TV, author will need usage of school's projector and white screen. Microphone will be needed for large groups.
For outside state of Ohio:
Travel and Lodging are separate from the event. The event host makes advance paid accommodations for overnight hotel stay and round-trip transportation.
For outside of Columbus, Ohio:
Ground Transportation Round-trip Per diem: 30 miles or more at federal rates. You will be invoiced prior to the event.
Visit consist of:
Role-playing social problem solving skills
Sharing peers strengths.
Discussion on the writing and publishing process.
Author will arrive 30 minutes early for setup.
Suggestions in preparation for author visit: (OPTIONAL)
1. Read book ahead of time to students.
2. Parent order form sent home and returned with payment the day before visit. I will autographed each child's copy. Also, a family may purchase an autographed copy via author's website.
Learning Content Standards
Ohio Department of Education Social Emotional Standards
1. Competency A: Self Awareness
A1. Demonstrate an awareness of personal emotions
A3: Demonstrate awareness of and willingness to seek help for self or others
A4: Demonstrate a sense of personal responsibility, confidence and advocacy
2. Competency B: Self Management
B1: Regulate emotions and behaviors by using thinking strategies that are consistent with brain development
1.a Identify personal behaviors or reactions when experiencing basic emotions
2.a Describe verbal and nonverbal ways to express emotions in different settings
3.a Identify and begin to use strategies to regulate emotions and manage behaviors
22. Competency C: Social Awareness
C1: Recognize, identify and empathize with the feelings and perspective of others
3. Competency D: Relationships
D1: Apply positive verbal and non-verbal communication and social skills to interact effectively with others and in groups
Shirrell Greene-Joe, Director of Customer Service Experience: Cleveland Metropolitan School District
"Our scholars from Warner Girls Leadership Academy enjoyed Gabby, the read along, and the invitation to join in on the discussion of being kind and making good decision. They were so very engaged it was an amazing visit. We appreciate you taking the time to personally sign their books so they could take Gabby home!!!"
Audra Beaver Pearson, Principal @ Columbus City Schools
"Today was a wonderful day at Winterset as we had an author visit from Ms. Paula Neal. She read her book, I'm Gonna Have A Good Day" then had open discussion and dialogue with the students."
Brittaney Barnes, Teacher @
Columbus City Schools
"You were awesome! The story is relatable for many of our students! The students and staff truly appreciated your visit. I loved the role-playing activity!"
Kim Richardson, Teacher @
Groveport Madison School District
"Such a great experience for our kids (and staff) THANK YOU!!"
Karen Richardson, School Leader @
Prep Academy Schools-Dublin
"We loved having you come by and read your amazing books to the kids."
Sarah Patel, Teacher @
Sedalia Elementary School
"It was such a fun day, and all of the kids loved it! Thank you, Author Paula Johnson Neal, and all of our staff for working together to make Friday such a success!"
A fun time at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in October 2022. The students from Warner Girls Leadership Academy were a JOY!!
YMCA @ KIPPS Campus. The children were totally amazed by the black character before I could start the story. Many kept noticing the similarities in their clothing, hair, and complexion.
Winterset Elementary was my first school visit. The children were so engaged that one of the groups had chanted "Read It Again!" A biracial child asked, "Is Gabby's mom white?" Then she shared "My mom is white, and I am black and white." #RepresentationMatters
Story time at the People's Mural event was special because the children held on to every single word and illustration. They wanted to know what happened the next day! SORRY! The sequel Breathe, Gabby, Breathe wasn't released! Other authors were lined up to read their stories, but those children had questions and wanted immediate answers about Gabby's behavior.
Thank you Columbus City Schools for so many invites! Windsor STEM Academy students and staff were an absolute JOY! Thought provoking questions and responses from the students! Excellent volunteers that were hilarious, but informative during role-playing.
ADDITIONAL THANK YOU'S!
VIRTURAL SCHOOL VISITS @ Columbus City Schools
1. Eastgate Elementary
2. Cranbrook Elementary
1. Columbus Africentric
Thank You Groveport Madison School District: Sedalia Elementary staff and students. The students asked a lot of questions about the writing process and how to become an author.
Thank You Prep Academy Schools-Dublin for a great experience with your children and staff. Your young students were very excited to share their thoughts about Gabby's behavior.