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If we teach children to read, write and think for themselves, they can do anything.

 

by Darren Butler

Butler’s Biography a brief about myself

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For four years, Darren J. Butler worked as the enrichment specialist at Benjamin Davis Magnet School, where he taught nearly three hundred first and second grade students using the Schoolwide Enrichment Model developed by Dr. Joseph Renzulli.  Later, Butler followed his love of the writing craft into the classroom and became a writing consultant for schools across Alabama. He trained teachers and students in preparation for the Alabama Direct Assessment on Writing. For twelve years, Butler increased test scores at these schools bringing them into the 90th percentile on a consistent basis. When the assessment was halted, Butler continued to work with schools for the Alabama Reading and Math Test, teaching students how to write for open-ended questions and stronger reading comprehension using his RIP (Read, Interpret, Predict) reading strategy. In 2011, Butler launched Virtual Village Classroom, a multi-dimensional educational platform for online courses. His Weekly Writer program offers thirty-six weeks of writing instruction for kindergarten to eighth grade students.

 

Butler is also the playwright behind Runaway Home, We The People and Among Us, among many others. His plays have been produced regionally and in theatre companies across the country. His monologues from Runaway Home have been published in Contemporary Monologues for Young Women edited by Gerald Ratlif. Butler is the author of the Abbie, Girl Spy book series for children and young adults. Most recently, he released his new novel for children, Merlin’s Curse. His short film, A Fix, starring Emmy nominee Julianna Mauriello and Skye Bartusiak, has been critically acclaimed at numerous film festivals.  Additionally, Butler serves as the Artistic Director for the internationally acclaimed production of The Miracle Worker presented annually at the Helen Keller Birthplace. Helen Keller: Leader Without Sight or Sound a biography was recently released. Butler has numerous writing projects in the works for children and young adults as well as professional publications for educators.

 

 

Keynote Speaking and Conferences a brief about Keynote speaking and conferences

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Butler is available to deliver a keynote address, concurrent session, or serve on a panel at your conference or convention. Teach Different, Don’t Let Them Be Mediocre, and RIP & Write are a few of his presentations. Butler can conduct sessions for educators in a variety of topics in the areas of reading and writing. He has presented on Narrative, Descriptive, Explanatory, and Argumentative writing as well as writing for the screen and television. Additionally, Butler presents on his RIP (sm) reading comprehension strategy, which has been proven to raise scores on standardized reading tests.

 

Butler is also listed as a keynote speaker by Preimere Speakers. See his profile and samples of his keynotes at Premiere Speakers website!

 

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School Visits A brief about visiting schools

WORKSHOPS with Teachers and Students

I am available for STUDENT and TEACHER WORKSHOPS as well as PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS with teachers only. An ideal day of residency begins with a teacher briefing followed by two classroom visits. In the classroom, I will work with students on a mode of writing within a curriculum subject area. Teachers observe me teaching the writing lesson. The classroom session should last 30 – 40 minutes for grades K – 3; and 45 – 60 minutes with grades 4 – 8.  After the classroom visit, it is best to have a follow-up session with the teachers that have observed the lesson. This process would be repeated after lunch with other grade levels.

 

Typically, I arrive at a school by 8:00 a.m. and work until the last bell of the day. I am yours for the day. I only require a little time to gobble down some lunch. I like to keep moving and cover as much ground as possible.

 

Each school is different. I prefer to customize each day of residency to fit the needs of your school. I am prepared to work with students on the writing portions of the ARMT. I can also help your school develop a writing plan for all grade levels.

AUTHOR VISIT

If you are looking for an author to talk to students about their books, background, and their process of writing, I am available for Author Visits as well as Young Authors’ Conferences. Author Visits include sessions with grade levels about my books, how I became a writer, and an autograph session with the students.

 

CLICK!  A Storyteller Performance This high energy 45 minute show features my short stories and songs, as I motivate students to read and write!  The show travels with lights, sound, and video equipment.  This day includes one or two performances, an Author Visit with students, and autograph session’

What’s Next? a brief about myself

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After fourteen years of traveling to schools as a writing specialist, Butler is bringing his talents to the virtual stage. He piloted Virtual Village Classroom in 2011 and 2012 with fifteen schools. The monthly publication allows teachers to access reading lessons in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and reader’s theatre, aligned with Common Core Standards. Additionally, teachers receive four writing lessons a month with videos of Butler modeling the lessons as he has done in classrooms for fourteen years. “It’s like having an author in your classroom everyday!”