“I was incredibly impressed with Ms. Mitchell’s presentation. We’ve had other writers and guest speakers come to our school and present to our students, but what set Ms. Mitchell apart from the rest was her authenticity. Her testimony and real-life experiences were offered for students to think about — not just to listen to. She dedicated so much time for students to ask her about her profession and writing process, her life, and her thoughts. And above all, she made it a point to speak about the kind of neighborhood she grew up in (the very same kind of neighborhood that so many of our students witness everyday). She’s local which means she’s the real deal. Our students can recognize that kind of authenticity. All that I have just mentioned engaged our students like no other author or visitor has done previously. I would be thrilled to see her speak again — especially to my students.”
— Josh Wise, 8th Grade English Teacher, Lynhurst 7th & 8th Grade Center
“Saundra Mitchell came to Hamilton Heights Middle School and spoke to my 6th grade honors reading class on March 23. This visit has sparked so many students and ignited a stronger passion for writing and reading. Saundra was so interested in what questions the students had, what they wanted to learn, and was more than happy to stay and talk so that all of the students had their queries answered.
My students enjoyed this visit tremendously. Saundra was funny, hip, entertaining, and incredibly knowledgeable and student friendly as she spoke about becoming a better writer and novelist. This is a visit my students will not forget for a long time. And their teacher will definitely be begging for future visits!”
– – Stacey Bishop, 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher, Hamilton Heights Middle School
“What a pleasure it was to have Saundra Mitchell visit our school and speak to our student body. She is a vibrant, inspirational author and speaker. Her encouraging message hit home with many of our students who feel defeated by life situations. Her book signing was a total success with students stopping by the library to meet her personally and sign a copy of her book. Later, as she visited an English class, Saundra detailed the writing process and how researching her topic is just as important as writing. Her passion for writing was evident and her suggestions for future authors were invaluable. Thank you Saundra for a wonderful visit to Western!!”
— Patricia Waterman, School Librarian, Western High School Media Director
“Saundra Mitchell did an outstanding job presenting her life as an author to an auditorium packed with middle-school students. She was engaging, funny, and authentic: She was able to hold the attention of 7th and 8th graders for over an hour! Saundra told stories about being a writer and a person who grew up in similar situations to what our students experience. Besides being an amazing speaker, Saundra is also an amazing person: She donated signed copies of several of her books to our school library and offered to donate more when our Little Free Library is up and running. In short, Saundra made a connection with our students and staff that they will remember for years to come. I highly recommend that you have Saundra Mitchell speak to your students! ”
— Jessica Thompson, Media Specialist, Lynhurst 7th & 8th Grade Center
“As my class was learning about becoming better writers and all of the responsibilities of being an author, I asked Saundra Mitchell to visit our classroom. She explained, in terms that 3rd graders could understand, all of the steps of writing a book and getting it from her mind to the shelves in the bookstores. The students were very surprised at all that needed to be done. Ms. Mitchell also brought samples of her rough drafts to show the students that she continually needed to edit and revise. She shared samples of her books with our class and gave each student a treasured bookmark. After Ms. Mitchell’s visit, the students had a much better understanding of what it means to be an author.”
– Beth Doyle, 3rd Grade Teacher, Brookview Elementary
Saundra Mitchell was very easy to work with and great to have as a visiting author. Tailoring her presentations to different classes and age groups, she thoroughly engaged our high school and middle school students and teachers. Ms. Mitchell draws upon many interesting life experiences and delivers relevant messages about both reading and writing. Our students jumped at the opportunity to ask her questions on a variety of topics, and she always responded graciously.
— Janna Carey, Library Media Specialist, Chesterton High School
I cannot give enough kudos about Saundra Mitchell’s recent visit. Saundra delivered a message about bullying that mesmerized “every” student and staff member who heard her. While bullying can be a tough topic, Mitchell not only painted a vivid picture of the impact of bullying, but also delivered a message of hope and understanding. Even a week after the visit, I still receive positive emails and comments from staff, some who have only heard about Saundra from the students.
One student excitedly showed a teacher a book she had won and had autographed by Mitchell. When the teacher went to hold the book to take a closer look, the student pulled away her prized-possession stating, “You can look, but not touch.” The teacher said that the author and book clearly had made a difference in the life of this girl who rarely speaks or shows excitement any other time.
Mitchell is a flexible speaker who can mold her talks to the needs of her audience. During a “Lunch in the Library” event, she discussed the four books that have most impacted her life. During another session she sat at a large table of students and casually discussed her life as a writer and offered suggestions to aspiring writers. In large groups, the delivery of her life story as if pertains to “Dear Bully” is one that every student today needs to hear, but does not because the topic’s consequences are often avoided.
— Cindy Newton, School Library Media Specialist, Connersville Middle School
As a first year teacher, I was nervous to escort my students out of the classroom and even more nervous about how my students would behave for a guest. I wouldn’t describe my students as avid readers and when they found out they would be listening to an author for over an hour, they were not pleased. But within five minutes of speaking, Saundra Mitchell had caught the attention of every single one of my kids. I realized they weren’t used to hearing stories similar to their own and they weren’t used to hearing an adult speak to them so openly. Saundra’s honesty after growing up, being depressed and angry, and where she found her passion entranced my students for the whole visit. Now, don’t get me wrong, my students didn’t suddenly start picking up her books or rushed in for hugs and geeking out, but they seemed to respect her and reflect on their own lives that day.
— Kali Burks, Lynhurst 7th & 8th Grade Center