I am a former grade four teacher, National Board Certified Teacher, curriculum developer, and adjunct professor. I have years of experience working with kids through adults. I am highly skilled at working with students of all ages and will adjust my programs to meet the specific needs of your school or library.

Curiosity, Research and Revision, for groups of up to 125 students

(Many standards will be touched on during this program, but the primary focus will be CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.8)

Writing an interesting and compelling non-fiction book requires deep research by the author. Oftentimes, the direction you thought your book would take changes based on the information you uncover. In this interactive program, I share real-life examples of how Flying Deep was shaped by my research and connect my work as a non-fiction author to the work students do. I share drafts of my work at various stages to demonstrate how important revision is to my process. Through the use of photographs and exciting props, I also bring students on a journey of discovery about Alvin and hydrothermal vent communities.

Student peers through an alvin viewport

Student peers through an alvin viewport

Grades 3-5: 45-60 minutes, with time for Q and A.

Grades K-2: 30-45 minutes, with time for Q and A. Places emphasis on props and how I come up with ideas.

Grades 6 and Up: 45-60 minutes, with time for Q and A. Flying Deep is a book targeted to students ages 5-9, but my presentation is relevant for much older students, as well. Presentations for students in middle school and high school are tailored to focus on the hard work of properly researching and revising a piece of writing to make it sing. I also include practical tips that students can use in their own writing projects.

Make it Sing: A Revision Workshop, for groups less than 35

(Many standards will be touched on in this workshop, but the primary focus will be CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.5)

Grades 3-5, 6-8, or 9-12 (please group students by these grades, if not single grade groupings)

The real work of writing happens once you start revising. In this hands-on workshop, I share real-world examples of my revision process and guide students as they work to make their writing stronger through revision. Students should come prepared with a double-spaced draft of a piece of writing,* a clip-board or something to lean on (If not at a desk or table), and a pen or pencil. The workshop moves between examples from my work and students trying out strategies I demonstrate.

* I will consult with schools to determine what kind of writing best suits your needs at the time of my visit (for example, narrative, expository, creative, etc).


Speaking Fees for 2019-2020 school year:

A basic school visit includes three presentations per day, lunch with kids, and a book signing.

Whole day, within 50 miles of my home in Rochester, MA : $950.00 per day. No travel expenses.

If you’re super local, within 20 miles of my home in Rochester: $850.00 per day.

Outside my area (more than 50 miles from my home): $1100 per day PLUS travel expenses. Please note that a three-day minimum is required for visits requiring air travel. However, each day after the first will be discounted to $950.00. I encourage schools to book together to share travel expenses and benefit from this discount (If schools collaborate, I’ll spread the discount over the three days so all schools benefit).

A 30-45 minute Skype session is $200.00. I will offer 2 free 15 minute Skype sessions a month and participate in free Skype visits for World Read Aloud Day (WRAD.)

1 hour Public Library programs within 20 miles are $300.00. Please contact me regarding rates for library programs further away. I look to combine visits with local school whenever possible.

Email bookings@Michellecusolito.com to schedule a visit.

Once a visit date is confirmed, I will provide schools with flyers, detailed information about ordering books, and tips for a successful visit.

Taking and posting still photos is encouraged (Go ahead, tweet them or post them to Instagram), but please do not make or post video recordings of presentations.


Kathy Patterson, Community Relations Manager, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution:

“Michelle understands the ocean science performed by deep diving sub Alvin and is able to clearly explain and engage her audience. She makes STEM learning fun!”

Sandi Sollauer, Librarian at Rochester Memorial School, Rochester, Massachusetts:

“Ms. Cusolito is a dynamic presenter. Her book, as well as her engaging presentation supports our STEM curriculum perfectly.

She tailored her presentation to keep students from Kindergarten through sixth grade involved in the fascinating world of life below the surface of the sea.

Her hands-on research, along with the props she brought for students to see, made the presentation an exciting, interactive experience.”

Debbie Koontz, Elementary Teacher, Sidney C. Huntington Elementary School, Galena, Alaska:

My class enjoyed Ms. Cusolito’s visit tremendously.  She gave a spirited and fascinating account of how she researched and wrote her book.  Since then, the students have made so many connections with the deep-sea submersibles and the creatures that inhabit the darkest parts of the oceans.

Benares Angeley, mom of a second grader, Mattapoisett, MA:

“I just wanted you to know that my kids LOVE your book.  We have read it three times this morning!  And Penny keeps stopping us to tell us about things she learned at your visit to Center School.  So grateful for your beautiful words!”