Author Visits And Assemblies

Give your students the gift of story and music with one of America’s leading storytelling authors.


Award-winning author, storyteller and musician J.J. Reneaux offers schools and teachers special assembly programs, workshops and author talks for students at all grade levels. Her unique half or full day residencies are designed to provide maximum quality programming at an affordable block-booking cost.

Each year Reneaux performs in English, French and Spanish for over 75, 000 students of all ages in the USA and around the world, sharing her delightful multicultural mix of southern folklore, music and true-life stories. As an arts educator, J.J. guides teachers and students in an exploration of the storytelling, reading and writing connection through dynamic activities that aim to inspire both teachers and children.

In workshops and author classroom visits, students learn how authors, illustrators and publishers work together to produce books. Students may also learn to apply storytelling techniques to their writing and to discover their own unique writing and storytelling style.

Workshops for teachers offer practical tips and ideas for application of storytelling and music to the classroom curriculum. J.J.'s methods and techniques are straightforward, simple and budget-friendly. She also offers activities to strengthen students' writing skills, particularly those who are resistant to writing. Most importantly, J.J. works to support teachers in their efforts to inspire a love of storytelling, reading and writing in their students.

For more information on J.J. Reneaux, please see books and bio icons on home page.

A Sampler of School Programs

Social Studies and Science
Gumbo Ya-Ya (All Ages)

J.J.'s acclaimed performance of traditional Cajun and Creole stories and music bring to life the mystery and joie de vivre of the Louisiana bayou country. French, Spanish, Irish, German, African and Native-American history and cultures blend together in these unique tales of tricksters, heroes, swamp monsters, ghosts and heroines. Drawn from J.J.'s own heritage, this gumbo is served up with heart, humor and lots of audience participation. A lively addition to American history, social studies, science, music, diversity awareness, French & Spanish language.

How Animals Saved the People (K-5)
These wonderful animal-friendly stories and music are drawn from the multicultural South: Appalachian English & Scots-Irish, Cajun & Creole, Native & African American, Spanish, German, Mexicano & Caribbean. This collection is a traditional storytelling feast for young audiences. Humor, suspense, and thoughtful drama entertain and offer students lessons in living, insight into many cultures and explore our relationship with the natural world. A great companion to studies of animals, ecology and social studies. In 2000 this collection will be published by Morrow Junior Books, NY. (Student writing workshop available.)

RIVERSONG (5th grade - Adult)
Great rivers of America are explored in this performance of fascinating river folklore, true historical anecdotes and music. History, culture and science meet as J.J. follows the twists and turns of river lore and music from Native creation myths to western emigration, river pirates, slavery and the civil war, the steamboat era, all the way to our own times. Humor, drama, suspense and audience participation blend together with traditional, Blues, original and contemporary music for a memorable performance experience. An excellent addition to history, music, social studies, history, ecology and multicultural studies.

American History and Music
From Sea to Shining Sea (K-5)
This rich sampler of American folktales and music follows the course of American history and culture from Jamestown to our times: Native American myths, New England sea legends, southern folktales, Cajun pourqoi tales, true stories of slavery and freedom, tall tales of cowboys and buffalo gals, western pioneer and miner's accounts and modern day urban legends. Traditional, blues and original songs accompany J.J.'s spirited performance. A fun companion to social studies. (Workshops for teachers or students available.)

I Hear America Singing (All Ages)
America's greatest export is her unique multicultural music. J.J. draws on the American melting pot to trace the development of American music from its roots to its many branches: Traditional, Blues, Jazz, Pop, Rap, Country, Gospel and Rock. Along the way, she introduces children to the sounds, rhythms and songs that have evolved into the music they love today. This is a music appreciation celebration designed to inform and inspire respect for the countless multicultural artists and musicians who have contributed to our American music legacy. ( This performance is available as a solo concert or with J.J.'s band. A great tie-in to diversity awareness and social studies. A teacher workshop Teaching Through Music is also available.)

Made in America (All Ages)
Classic European and African folk and fairy tales took on a new twist when they met the multicultural New World, creating a fascinating new page in the American story. A fun and adventurous look into our colorful cultural melting pot and the many influences that have shaped our culture and the American experience. Traditional songs, hand clapping games and riddle rounds offer students opportunities to celebrate their unique heritage. This program is a wonderful connection to immigration studies, diversity awareness and world folk literature.

Programs for Very Young Children
Shake, Rattle & Roll (3-6)
Music and stories for young children who love to wiggle, giggle, clap and snap! Funny and gentle participation stories and songs get kids and parents into the act. Animal folk tales, true-life "growing-up stories, and traditional and original children's songs are sure to tickles kids' funny bones -- and their imaginations!

Southern Ghost Stories & Music (1st grade - adult)
A shivery round of traditional southern ghostlore. In these tales of pirates, swamp creatures, mountain ghosts and pineywood monsters, good always overcomes evil. Hollywood violence is out; classic suspense, mystery and surprise are the tools of this master storyteller. J.J. carefully adapts her stories to satisfy the maturity of each audience. Music, sound effects and audience participation add to the fun!
(J.J.'s recording of these stories won a Parent's Gold Choice Award (Student writer's workshop available)

Artist Fees
Block Booking is the most cost-effective way for schools to bring J.J.'s acclaimed performances and workshops to your school. Quoted fees are all inclusive.

A half day residency is 3.5 hrs in length. Includes:
  • Two 50-55 minutes assembly programs
  • Two 30 minute classroom** Author Visits
  • Author autograph book signing session.
  • Books & recordings available at 30% discount
Total of 5 performance and author sessions

Price: Block booking rate; min. booking -- 3 schools @ $550.00 per school.

Cost break down: $110.00 per activity.

A full day residency is 6 hours in length. Includes:
  • Two 50-55 minutes assembly programs
  • Five 30 minute classroom** Author visits
  • Author autograph book signing session
  • Afterschool teacher's workshop or an evening family performance
  • Books & recordings available at 40% discount
Total of 10 performance and author sessions

Price: Block booking rate; min. booking-- three schools @ $950.00 per school.

Cost break down: $95.00 per activity

** Depending on space, 2-3 classrooms may combine. Schools may substitute third assembly program in place of multiple classroom visits.

Fees for single school assembly programs only:
1st assembly: $450.00 + travel; 2 assemblies: $650 + travel; 3 assemblies: $850 + travel.

Award-winning author, mesmerizing storyteller and musician, J.J. Reneaux offers affordable assembly performances and residency programs to all grade levels at schools nationwide. Schools may choose from a single performance, multiple assemblies or half day residencies. As an artist committed to literacy, J.J. seeks to inspire students to read, write, tell and sing stories. As a high-school drop-out and teen runaway, J.J. has a story to tell: "Words are the key to reaching your dreams. I know words have the power to change lives. I am a living example."

A committed literacy advocate, J.J. makes her books available at 20% discounts to encourage student book ownership. Many schools also utilize this discount to purchase reward books to honor student achievements or as a fund raiser for special projects. "There is nothing like the feeling I get when I sign a book for a child. An autographed book speaks to a child’s heart. This is one book that child will cherish and read again and again."

J.J. tailors each performance to the age level of the audience. Her understanding of the developmental needs and interests of children is based on experience as well as educational research. To meet these unique needs, J.J. offers assembly programs for Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grades, and 3rd-5th grades. Her programs for middle school and high school are designed to meet the interests and maturity of the older student. Music is a part of all school performances and ranges from traditional southern songs to blues, contemporary music and originals. "Younger students love animals tales, funny true-life, stories, Native myths and of course, spooky stories. I give them lots of opportunities to participate with movement, song and sound effects. Middle school students especially enjoy my mix of true-life stories and music, historical drama, mythological monsters and they absolutely beg for ghost stories. Older students love my big ol’ blues voice. They are among my favorite audiences."

J.J. offers workshops for teachers and performances for students on a variety of themes encompassing history, holidays, multi-cultural studies, science/ecology, Americana, character education, storytelling, the writing process, holidays and more. "Teachers are often surprised to discover that they too can be really good storytellers. It’s exciting for them to develop such a useful skill that has so many applications to their curriculum."

To receive a complete brochure of programs, workshops, and special booking programs, or inquire about the affordable cost of bringing J.J. Reneaux to your school, please E-mail: or write: J.J. Reneaux, POB 7782, Athens, GA 30604

"J.J. fairly pops and sizzles with the joy of living and beaucoup wit."     --Library Journal

"Dear J.J., WOW! I am so glad you came to our school. I have never seen a person quite like you. You are so fun to work with. I will miss you..."     Amy Jane Stephens, Sardis School, 5th grade

"Artists of J.J. Reneaux’s caliber offer a dynamic illustration of Americana in all its variety and richness."  --  Herr Hursch, United States Information Agency

"Dear J.J., I never thought I could be a good writer. You showed me that is not true... I made this poem for you. Happy summer!"     Rebecca Satterfield, 4th grade

I can smell the beautiful flowes blooming.
I can taste the cold ice cream running down my throat.
I can hear children playing in the meadows.
I can see pretty butterflies flying in the yard.
I can feel the hot sun shining down on me.
That is what I hear, see and feel in the the summertime.

* meet JJ * music * books * recordings * news * tale's trail * contact * home *

JJ Reneaux
P.O. Box 7782
Athens, Ga. 30604

JJ's Email
(706)  549 ~ 7212

Copyright 1998 - JJ Reneaux
by Wallis-McQueary
near Deeth, Nevada
USA, Earth. 89823