On April 3 and 4, 2014 Cristina participated in her first-ever SKYPE “Visiting Author” presentations with Colegio International Puerto la Cruz in Venezuela (CIPLC).

On Thursday she shared two “Behind the Books” programs with 42, 1 and 2 – graders, and again with 40 students from grades 3 and 4 . She also enjoyed a Future Authors Lunch with 11 kids from grades 3 through 5 .

On Friday she shared her “Behind the Books” slide program with 34, 5 and 6 graders, and had lunch with 10 future authors from grades 6 – 8 . After lunch she led a writers’ workshop on “Using the Five Senses”, “Show Don’t Tell”, and “Be Specific” for 24, 7 and 8 grade students.

Overall, it was a very positive experience for both students and Cristina. Librarian Gwen Martin, who did a great job organizing the kids and hosting the program, wrote to say, “A parent just stopped me to say his son talked about you non-stop last night!” Cristina sends all the students her thanks for being such great audiences, with great questions about, and observations of her books.

For Cristina, the only drawback was no hugs! None of this would have been possible without Jennifer Nelson Saracevic, owner and director of Jennifer Nelson LLC. She was the technical wizard behind it all, running the Power Point program from Chicago for Cristina in the Virgin Islands and CIPLC in Venezuela. Thanks to her, all went very smoothly. Big thanks to Jennifer, and her colleague, Janet Wendland, who first proposed this visit.

When the six hours of presentations were completed, Cristina, who admits to being technologically challenged, told Jennifer and Gwen, “Well I guess you can teach old dog new tricks! It’s great to have a new skill.” Any schools interested in SKYPE visits, or live visits by Cristina should contact Jennifer Nelson at (www.jennifernelson.com).