By Bruce Van Patter

Teacher reviews of my assembly

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"My students and I watched in awe and amazement as Mr. Van Patter created a fabulous storyline out of thin air!.. I loved how he continuously encouraged the students to push past their initial, "regular" story ideas..."

Kristin Boyce, Woodside School, River Vale, NJ

"(We were) very pleased with the presentation. You easily kept the attention of our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and seemed to ignite a new interest in writing & illustration. We all particularly enjoyed the "off-the-cuff" drawing --allowing kids to see the process is more beneficial than any speech. Thanks for coming to East Hanover!"

Lauren Bruce, East Hanover Elem., Grantville, PA

"Bruce was AWESOME!!!!!  It was definitely one of the best programs we have had at the school.  He is dynamic, great with the kids, INCREDIBLY creative and the hardest working performer I have met.  While Bruce is an illustrator, I would categorize him as a performer because his program is so dynamic, motivational and interactive that you really feel like you are getting a show.  His messages about creativity, using your mind and your experiences to develop ideas are on target...  Incredibly, for about $1000 he conducted six or seven assemblies/workshops for us that day – double what any other author has given us." Shari Steele, Memorial Elem., Montvale, NJ

"I have been a classroom teacher for over 11 years and I have seen several authors visit or have assembly programs... This was absolutely, without question, the best and most helpful traveling educational program I have ever seen. Wow!"

Cole Lauber, New Market Elementary, MD

"Do invite him into your school for one of your best assemblies ever! He accomplishes tons in 45 minutes. The assembly and the workshop following were both excellent!... I'd like to bottle his energy for (use) in my room."

Carol Kurl, Reidenbaugh Elem. School, Lancaster County, PA

"What a great way to get kids excited about writing! Students were engaged and enthralled the entire time."

Tina Tuell, Mill Road Elem., Elizabethtown, PA

Lone Star Love:

Comments from teachers at Steubing Elementary in San Antonio, Texas

"Bruce is a fantastic presenter and motivator for students...He has inspired our students in numerous ways!"

"Wow! Bruce Van Patter inspired us, motivated us and validated the importance of wreading and writing in everyone's life... An unforgettable experience!"

"You have figured out how to draw students into creative writing and illustrating...thank you for touching their hearts and helping them find their creativity!"

"If you are looking for a fun, inspirational and educational speaker, I'd highly recommend
Mr. Van Patter."
Mary Hughes, Ketler Elementary, Westwood, NJ

"You tied together reading, writing, art, creativity, imagination, and more into a wonderful program that does not end with your visit but will continue with each child, parent, and teacher at Woodside!  Teachers, students, and parents have been calling, emailing, or stopping me in the halls to tell me how much they enjoyed your workshops and assemblies.  So many parents told me that their child made them come out that night to see you!  We had over 120 people at our night session.  That is a record and it even happened on a night that the middle school had a function.  We would have had an even bigger crowd!"

Laurie Restieri, Woodside Avenue PTA, Franklin Lakes, NJ

"One of the best I've seen. The presentation provided students with an age-appropriate entertaining lesson that will help them develop themselves as authors. As a building principal of a K-4 school, it is often difficult to find a presenter who can manage the age span of the students. Bruce Van Patter modified his presentation to apply to the age of each audience." Rachel Feldman, Holly Hills Elementary, Westampton, NJ

"DaVinci Doodles! Take a different path from everyone else's but leave a trail. These are all original throughts from Bruce Van Patter!... Enjoy a day packed with fun-filled ideas and well-presented artistic drawings!" Candace Xander, Columbus Elementary, Columbus, PA

"It got the kids excited about writing! They realized that anyone can write a creative story and get their juices flowing with a little brainstorming. But kep the kids engaged and wowed them with his drawing skills." Christine Warfel, Lehigh Elementary, Walnutport, PA

"The children were encouraged to be creative and take risks. Great experience for the entire school!" Laura Conroy, Collins School, Livingston, NJ

"Motivational, educational and inspirational... we saw immediate results as students returned to their classrooms and began drawing pictures and creating thoughtful stories. We loved it!" Joseph Scott, Movie A. Ebner Elementary, Altoona, PA

"Mr. Van Patter has a charismatic personality that draws students into using their imaginations to compose well-written ideas." Kimberly Baker, Centerville Elementary, Frederick, MD

"The students were mesmerized by the program. I especially liked the way you modeled your thinking, so the children could see that they can be creative too!" Kelly Wohl, Cunningham Park Elem., Vienna, VA

"The assembly was amazing!" Mary Huckin, Fort Washington Elem., Fort Washington, PA

"We loved Bruce Van Patter's assembly! He was interesting, engaging, exciting and funny." Karen DeRosa, Cedar Hill Elementary, Towaco, NJ

"Fabulous!.. it was nice to see some of our kids who don't love to write participate and be excited about writing!" Ellen Fullerton, Jarrettown Elem., Jarrettown, PA

"450 kids were spellbound!" Marjorie Brennan, Highland Park Elem., Upper Darby, PA

"Mr.Van Patter knows children and involved his audience in all aspects of his presentation. He is amazingly talented, funny and tuned into his audience. His talent and wit inspire the children to imagine, to dream, to create. Well done!" Vicki L. Moore, Rice Elementary School, Mountain Top, PA

"We loved it! Both teachers and students were excited. We felt that Bruce could really connect with kids. He was very entertaining and educational. We all learned something we could use. One teacher said, "He's the best author we've ever had!" Debra L. Menser, North Star Central Elementary, Boswell, PA

"It kept all students engage and actively participating and listening... Great assembly!" Sarah McDonald, Cunningham Park Elementary, Vienna, VA

"Your enthusiasm for promoting creativity was contagious.

It brought the school together and we were all talking about your presentation for days! You helped make all students feel that their ideas are special and worthwhile. You also reminded teachers that writing is much more than capitals, periods and spelling. We need to promote ideas and creativity if we want to encourage students to be successful, confident writers."

Elna Morin, 3rd Grade teacher, Valley Elem., Jefferson, MD

"Fabulous! Extremely interactive! Encourages creativity and free thinking in our young writers! Jennifer Brander Birch, Lickdale Elem., Lickdale, PA

"It was great to have your motivation for story writing revealed to the children at the beginning of the school year. As teachers, we will be able to use elements of your presentation as reading and writing motivation throughout the year!" Tanya Hartman, Bloomer Elem., Bloomer, WI

"Bruce Van Patter is not just a great author/illustrator; he is a wonderful teacher! Our students were fully engaged during the assembly and workshop...I highly recommend this assembly!!" Nina Di Cicco, Brooke Elem., Royersford, PA

"Some authors come for a school visit and rest on their reputation, but not Mr. Van Patter. He uses his experience to inspire his audience but does so much more than explain his creative process... Students leave the assembly and workshop motivated to be creative and ready for the challenges they will face." Daniel Fonder, Assist. Principal, Hillside School, Bridgewater, NJ

"I strongly recommend Mr. Van Patter's program...I watched the light bulbs pop-on above the students' AND teachers' heads as he gave his recipe for becoming a more creative thinker and writer." Peggy Dean, Denver Elem., PA

"I thought it was excellent!.. some of my 6th graders don't like to show excitement about school related things -- it's not cool! However, even those students were actually excited about writing! They were so enthusastic about the morning assembly that they kept asking me when the afternoon breakout session was!" Kathy E. Grim, Governor Mifflin Interm. School, Shillington, PA

"Motivating, entertaining, fascinating, captivating and thought-provoking!" Heather Weise, Royersford Elem., Royersford, PA

"My class loved it -- and we refer back to your presentation often, as we are in the process of writing and publishing our own Mother and Father's Day books! Hats off to you!" Laurie Green, 1st grade, Central School, Warren, NJ

"Everyone is talking about the day and hoping you can come back next year -- or even next week!" Marilyn Sztuk, Dennis O'Brien Elem., Dover, NJ

Mr. Van Patter's presentation was fun and educational. His enthusiasm was contagious! Back in the classroom, the children were brimming over with ideas and were excited to write! Anne Galvin, Linden Elem., Doylestown, PA

I enjoyed the assembly and found the information provided was age-apropriate and fun for your younger students... the picture doodling and story with volunteers was great. I plan on using that in my classroom. Thanks for a great assembly! Renee Usewski, Mountview Road School, Morris Plains, NJ

Mr. Van Patter did a great job at promoting creativity and exploring new ways to view writing and drawing. I would highly recommend this assembly to a colleague. What a great role model for our future writers and illustrators! Tracy Menoni, Fernbrook School, Randolph, NJ

"We really enjoyed the assembly program. The kids were fully engrossed in the presentation... You showed the kids how to expand their creativity through your demonstrations, examples and your enthusiasm." K-3 teachers, New Auburn Elem., New Auburn, WI

"You did a fabulous job demonstrating to the students how to be creative and think like a writer. The students couldn't wait to come back to the room and use what you taught them." Erin Shaw, Brecht Elem., Lancaster, PA

"Thanks for the creative inspiration! I tried the doodle idea in my second grade classroom and the students loved it. The resulting pictures inspired interesting stories". Carol Heist, Birdsboro Elem., Birdsboro, PA

"Very informative yet entertaining... I would tell teachers in other districts he is well worth the money." Stephanie Rittenhouse, Oaks Elem., Royersford, PA

"Motivating, entertaining, fascinating, captivating and thought-provoking!" Heather Weise, Royersford Elem., Royersford, PA

"We really enjoyed the assembly program. The kids were fully engrossed in the presentation... You showed the kids how to expand their creativity through your demonstrations, examples and your enthusiasm." K-3 teachers, New Auburn Elem., New Auburn, WI

"An excellent job!!.. I always love it when the children are included in the assembly. Keep up the good work!" Tammy Rickard, Stourbridge Primary Center, Honesdale, PA

"Very informative yet entertaining... I would tell teachers in other districts he is well worth the money." Stephanie Rittenhouse, Oaks Elem., Royersford, PA

"I really enjoyed your enthusiasm, interaction with the students, and accommodating each type of learner. The students were able to put your advice into action immediately in the day-to-day writing and brainstorming. Thank you for an informative, educational, and exciting assembly." Melinda Rodarmel, Central Elem., Williamsport, PA

"Fabulous!.. Thanks so much for inspiring our youth to be more creative!" Debbie Diehl, Lakeside Elem., Honesdale, PA

"In all my years in education, no one has ever had the total positive reaction -- administration, teachers, CHILDREN, and parents -- as our day with Bruce Van Patter." Lynn Grant, Galeton Area School, PA

"We need more ideas to get kids to write about things that don't come from the media. This is the ticket!" Brenda Pennella, Sheridan Elem., Williamsport, PA

"The presentation was outstanding. Our school has had many great visiting authors, but your presentation was my favorite... you motivated the students (and teachers too) to be creative... Thanks for your energy and enthusiasm!" Cathy Schotta, Nitrauer Elem., Lancaster, PA

"You quickly established rapport and enlisted their cooperation and creativity with engaging, purposeful, activty... promotion of creative thinking supports our writing curriculum well." Linda Quinby, Marlborough Elem., Marlborough, PA

"Bruce Van Patter made writing sound like fun. He simplified the process so that every child could write. He related it to art and drawing, a high interest area for all. My class was excited to come back and write." Susan Kehs, Hereford Elem., Upper Perkiomen School District, PA

"You did a wonderful job. The greatest compliment I can give is to tell you that after you did an activity, more than a few children turned to me and said, "Can we do that?" Of course I said yes -- and we did!" Anne Soliman, Bee Meadow School, Whippany, NJ

"This assembly was incredibly engaging from start to finish. Students couldn't wait to write stories based on the interactive pictures they created with Mr. Van Patter. Many teachers said that they would use the ideas from the assembly in their writing lessons! Our school would welcome Buce Van Patter back anytime!"
Jennifer Zingaro, Berlin Community School, Berlin, NJ

"We loved your creative presentation! The kids were engaged by your illustrations from the minute they walked through the door. Your pesentation got our kids (and teachers) excited about writing!" Erin Schuler, Neff Elem., Lancaster, PA

"Your presentation was motivating to both the teachers and students... We do 'writer's workshop' in the classroom and several of my 6th graders asked to 'do more on our stories.' Thanks -- you also gave me the spark I needed to include more 'fun writing' in my day." Terry Morgan, Liberty Elem., Liberty, PA

"The students really enjoyed themselves and learned about being creative. The use of storytelling, jokes and your slide show kept them engaged." Kelly Curtin, South Lebanon Elem., Lebanon, PA

"Your program was phenomenal!.. Your gifts and talents enriched the lives of our students and brought out the best in them. It was definitely the best I've seen in my 10 years in education!" Melissa Bush-Benford, Kingsville Elementary, Baltimore County, MD

"His enthusiasm is contagious! He sparks the imaginations! The assembly and workshop captured the attention of both students and teachers. The involvement of students in creating drawings and suggesting parts of the story, along with Mr. Van Patter's amazing artistic talent, made it a fun day for all... you need to invite Bruce Van Patter to your school!" Roxanne Palmer, Paxtang Elementary, Harrisburg, PA

"Your program was interactive with the children that "showed" them how to expand on the idea. I felt the students were not only entertained by also instructed on how to develop an idea." Pamela Mersion, Salem Drive School, Whippany, NJ

"When we came back to the classroom, my children were not only excited to draw, but to write their own exciting stories." Kelly Stagliano, East High Elem., Elizabethtown, PA

"Refreshing and much needed, the presentations were a blast to the doldrums. A truly enganging "spark." A vitamin pill for under-nourished creative minds. A zap of permission to come up with new ideas!" Joan Haines Franze, Brownstown Elementary, Lancaster, PA

"This was one of the best assemblies yet. It was something we could use and take back to the room, which I did... and talk about CREATIVE -- it was oozing all over the room... I would recommend (it) to any teacher I know." Jill L. Buck, Brownstown Elem., Lancaster, PA

"Your assembly was one of the most meaningful presentations we have ever had at our school... Your sense of humor, amazing energy, and artistic ability were such a treat for all of us." Debora Sundo, Hosack Elem., Pittsburgh, PA

"The program was fantastic! The kids were involved and highly motivated by your enthusiasm, art work and ideas... I would highly recommend this assembly!" New Market Elem., MD

"This is not a slide show of Aunt Ethel's vacation! The fast-paced mix of illustrations and photos, accompanied by appropriate music, was a great introduction to the activity to follow... it was one of the best assemblies we've had." Sharon L. Watson, Carroll Elem., PA

"Amazing! The kids sat for one hour, mouths hanging open, eyes wide... the assembly was entertaining educational, fun, and got lots of kids involved. We will be talking about this one for a while!" Kristen Rubeck, Akron Elem., Lancaster

a doodle created in an assembly by a kindergartner

"Your program was awesome!.. You gave us a launching pad for writing narratives that is new and exciting!" Kim E. Jordan, Newton Elem., Pleasant Hill, OH

"This was an outstanding assembly. Students were excited and eager to begin writing and drawing." Tanna Rimkus, Milton-Union Elem., West Milton, OH

"Your program reached right to the level of elementary students!... I could tell that you really like children, you seemed to be having as much fun as we were! I have recommended you to my own children's school." Anne Phillips, Kreutz Creek Elem., Eastern York County, PA

"His artistic interpretations of the students' characters, settings, and plots mesmorized them. Students were engaged and inspired. It was an educational day for all." Janis L. Mason, Falling Spring Elem., Chambersburg, PA

"It really inspired the kids and excited them about writing/drawing. As a teacher, it motivated me to do more creative things with my kids and activities to spark their creativity. Great assembly!" Renee Burgard, Paradise Elem., Thomasville, PA

"I loved it. Oh, that we could spend our days inspiring creativity in our students! I am immediately incorporating one of your ideas into my classroom..." Barbara Haverstick, Pequea Elem., Lancaster, PA

"In all my 19 years of teaching, I have listened to many authors and illustrators. You were definitely the best by far." Rita Boyer, Bethel Elem. School, Tipp City, OH

"The assembly was fantastic! ... Mr. Van Patter connected with the students and sparked their enthusiasm for creativity! I would recommend this assembly to all elementary schools!" Kelly Kasitz, Blair Mill Elem., Hatboro, PA

"Bruce Van Patter is talent in motion. His assembly kept everyone actively engaged in the creative thinking process." Carole Bartucca, Hawthorne Elem., Hawthorne, NY

"I loved the assembly and the website!...Not only did Mr. Van Patter inspire creativity, but he provided instructional tools to take directly back to the classroom. We used the "imagination team"... for cooperative team writing and illustrating." Centre Hall Elem., Centre Hall, PA

See drawings I've done in schools

"Great program. Lots of enthusiasm. Good content and good goal for creativity!... I was impressed with your sense of humor and how well you know how kids think!" Hans Herr Elem., Lancaster, PA

"You were wonderful. I loved your enthusiasm and animation... what a great role model for our kids. Positive Reinforcement!" Stewartsville Elem., Pittsburgh, PA

"The program was fantastic! The kids were involved and highly motivated by your enthusiasm, art work and ideas... I would highly recommend this assembly!" New Market Elem., MD

"One of the best programs we've had at Rush Elementary... The students enjoyed his fast-paced program. They liked being involved in the "Doodle Team" and the "Imagination Team" to create ideas for drawings and stories. The story evolved into a final fascinating poster which Bruce left as a gift to the school. We were all inspired to 'get creative'." Rush Elem. School, Tamaqua, PA

"You had me sitting at the edge of my seat (literally)!! You did an awesome job and the kids loved the assembly. You set a great example for the kids to continue to enjoy reading, writing and drawing." Hambright Elem., Lancaster, PA

"It was an excellent program... I would rate this assembly an A+!" South Mountain Elem., Dillsburg, PA

"A dynamic presenter who inspired all of our children..." George A. Ferrell Elem., PA

"It was fascinating for students to be able to use their imaginations and create a story and watch how illustration brings the story alive." Hook Elementary School, Troy, OH

"Thank you for a program that spoke to all levels of learning." Bradford Heights Elem., Downingtown

"It was a wonderful, informative and fun assembly for both students and teachers!" East Derry Elem., Lewistown

"I saw both the K - 2nd and the 3rd - 6th grade presentations. Mr. Van Patter used 2 different set-ups, and tailored his material to the age level of his audience. His enthusiasm... did awaken our students' thinking." Galeton Area School

"Bruce has a natural ability to create but to also entertain. His talent is amazing, intriguing, and inspiring for students. I could see the creative sparks burning in all my students throughout the day. What a refreshing change of pace and focus on creativity!" Quarryville Elem., PA

"Bruce Van Patter was awesome! Students were engaged in his program. He gave students practical ideas for drawing and coming up with ideas for writing." Spring Ridge Elem., Frederick, MD

"What can I say... my students returned to class and demanded 'creativity hour'. I heard not a peep for sixty minutes. When does that happen? Thank you for stirring their creative juices!" Clermont Elem., Lancaster County, PA

"The assembly sparked the imaginations of all students -- kindergarten all the way to the teachers... we all hope to see him back next year!" Shamona Creek Elem., Downingtown, PA

"Fantastic!.. The enthusiasm about writing books was amazing -- all of my students were excited about writing their next book." Valley Elem., Jefferson, MD

"Outstanding! Very motivational! Mr. Van Patter's high-energy presentation captivated our students from the moment they walked into the assembly. He not only entertained, but inspired everyone to look at things with their imagination and to think 'outside the box'." Oley Valley Elementary, Oley

"I would highly recommend your program to other schools. Teachers and students alike thoroughly enjoyed the time... A fun and enriching day! " Four Mile Elem., Williamsport

"Mr. Van Patter had great enthusiasm and 'kid charisma'. The students were interested and engaged in his very worthwhile program." Brandywine-Wallace Elem., Downingtown

"I loved your program... I was at the edge of my seat with your stories and drawings. You gave the audience a chance to participate... You stressed they can make up stories anywhere, not only in school!" Mahoning-Cooper Elem., Danville

"What a fun and inspirational assembly! Thank you!" Hampden Elem., Mechanicsburg

"Mr. Van Patter's presentation truly fits its billing: CREATIVE!" Lyter Elem., Montoursville

"The students were engaged... they returned to their classrooms believing they all had stories in their heads, waiting to be written down." Bucher Elem. School, Lancaster

"From start to finish, Mr. Van Patter captivated our students... through his kid-friendly, highly interactive assembly program. Quite simply, he was PHENOMENAL." Cochran Elem. School, Williamsport

"I completely enjoyed your assembly today. You told our students the exact type of things they needed to hear in order to build up confidence in their ability to be creative. " Dillsburg Elem. School

"Mr. Van Patter fosters creativity in children in a very 'kid-friendly' way. We loved it!" B.F. Morey Elem., Stroudsburg

"The assembly was extremely motivating for all in attendance... you can see the students just 'itch' to jump and take a risk" Sheshequin-Ulster Elem. School

"... a wonderful assembly program... interactive, fun and interesting. It was a valuable learning experience for both students and teachers." Beaver Adams Elem. School

"Mr. Van Patter can bring to life what is in a child's imagination. He encourages open and free thought -- no idea is dismissed or unimportant.
He encourages the students to "think outside the box." Gladys Burnham Elem., Ridgebury

"Your program was exceptional! The presentation was lively and fun. It kept the children's attention and gave them lots of ideas. We enjoyed watching you draw and love the illustrations you drew for us." Jackson Elem., Williamsport

"A wonderful learning experience. He excited the children. They wanted to write and draw right after the assembly." Round Hills Elem., Williamsport

“I found Mr. Van Patter’s presentation to be high-energy, grade level appropriate and full of inspiration for young writers…. His enthusiasm for his own craft, his ability to relate so well with children and the appropriate tie-ins that he made to story components and elements found in an illustration made this one of the best author/illustrator presentations that I have seen done for children!" Bellefonte Elem. School

"An excellent program to help children realize that they ALL can be creative and write well! The children were involved and very attentive." Exton Elem.

"I think the school assembly was fantastic! Children today need hands-on activities. They need to be involved in the lesson... You really got them to use their imagination and their creativity." Mahanoy Area Elem. School

"All of our students thoroughly enjoyed your author/illustrator assembly. We feel that it will inspire our students to become more creative writers and illustrators. It was definitely worthwhile!" Renn Elem. School, Lairdsville

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