School Visits

“Rafe Martin is the perfect antidote for our technology-glutted children. He puts them back in touch with their power—their imagination.”          
         —BOCES Arts Coordinator, Michelle Sherer

“Your visit to our schools at Standing Rock Reservation is an experience I will never forget. You even motivated me to do some writing! After reviewing the pictures I took and video it was so exciting to see the impression you made on the children!! I hope we can plan another visit with you in the near future. Our students need to hear more storytelling as these are lost skills that were so important for survival of our history, culture, and language.”
— Kathy Froelich, (Red Basket), Cultural Coordinator Primary Circle, Standing Rock Reservation, ND, MREC 

Rafe’s school visits include three 45-minute sessions per day plus a book-signing. In addition to performances for students, the sessions can also include small group workshops, an evening family performance or a faculty in-service. Rafe works with every grade level, from kindergarten to high school, and beyond.

Rafe designs each presentation for specific grade levels, telling age-appropriate stories and sharing an empowering vision of language, writing, creativity, and imagination. He leaves his listeners—teachers and students alike—with an awareness of their own power to create. In addition, Rafe offers writing and storytelling workshops for students, and professional workshops for faculty and staff on:

  • The art of writing and developing writing skills;

  • The art of storytelling—how to make told stories live; and

  • The art of using stories in the classroom—how to further develop reading, writing, and communication skills.

Rafe also offers evening performances for the entire school community.

In each session Rafe talks about language and about stories in words—the only technology that gives us, even today in this age of computers, our own inner images. He reveals his own writing and rewriting/revisioning process, and shows how words create images. Rafe makes words live, and shows reading and writing to be the greatest adventure, not simply a set of rules. He reveals to students their own creative power. The storyteller, after all, only makes sounds on the air; the writer only makes squiggles on a page. It is the minds of those doing the listening and reading that make a story live! And unlike movies and TV, stories in words allow us each to discover our own inner images. Each person sees the story differently. So many children today, so used to TV and movies, never realize their own great, creative power. Therefore, reading and writing become harder than they need to be. It all begins with knowing how to use your mind and how to pay attention to your own images.

In the next part of Rafe’s presentation, through the dramatic, interactive, performance of a story based on one of his many, award-winning books—Rafe is an award-winning author and as well as a nationally known storyteller—he brings one of his stories to life and demonstrates how told stories can differ entirely from the text of a story in a book.

Finally, Rafe engages in a lively question and answer peoriod with his audience. So there are three components to each session:

  • First: talk about language and stories and writing;

  • Second: performance of a story—bringing it to life;

  • Third: questions and answers.