From Librarian Liz Hitron- "We've really had such a fantastic week with Bill. The whole school is buzzing about him. I wanted to include this note I received from a parent:  

Dinner conversation is usually pretty brief at our house. Often, I feel like I have to pry information from my kids' mouths. Tonight was different. Tonight, both of my kids, Nolan (grade 3) and Betsy (grade 2), could not stop talking about Bill Harley. They told me about his visits to their respective classrooms, and they told me about the stories that he shared. They even sang his songs— especially the one about how grownups are weird. They told me about Charlie Bumpers, and they taught me some of the sign language that Bill taught them. The conversation actually turned into a competition over who remembered more about what Bill did and said and sang and shared.  

The effect that Bill had on my children is extraordinary. I don’t say this lightly. They were both enthralled by him. Thank you SO much for making his artist-in-residence happen. 



The Charlie Bumpers Book Club in Greenville, SC



“I believe everything is educational, in that it says something about how one looks at the world. Children learn more from context than they do from explicit lessons. They learn vocabulary and language not from a dictionary or worksheet, but from conversation, they learn songs not from reading music, but from singing with someone who loves to sing, and they learn hope and kindness and cooperation not from being told to have them, but by experiencing them.” Bill Harley


Visit our One School One Book page to learn more about the program




The day includes 2 large-group music and story assemblies with children divided by grade level (e.g., K-2, 3-5), 2 classroom workshops and a book signing. Additional classroom workshops, teacher workshop and family concert are optional additions for multi-day residencies. Classroom workshops are appropriate for grades 3-5 and are limited to 40 students per session. The class should have read one of Bill’s chapter books before the visit.

Bill signing books for students at a school

The more familiar students and teachers are with Bill’s work, the richer the visit will be. We will make recommendations for the books/songs/stories to read and listen to in advance and are happy to sell these materials to your school at a 30% educational discount. We can also work with you to organize a sale to parents. The school will earn 15% of these sales. All books will be autographed.



(for grades 3-5, limit 40 students per session)

Book Talk – A Closer Look:
Bill talking to students about his book Lost and FoundA participatory classroom workshop about the nitty-gritty aspects of Bill’s work as an author using one of his books as an example (to be read by the class in advance). Along with a powerpoint presentation, Bill will lead an animated discussion of plot, character development, writing tools, strategies and story creation. Workshop serves to  encourage and support young writers (and their teachers). Topics may include how life experiences and curiosities influence a storyline and characters, plot points for a sequel, relationship between author and illustrator and, the use of vivid language and sensory details. Questions from students will be an important guide for this session.


Telling Stories – the pictures in your head...
Brain science now tells us that strong oral skills provide a clear pathway to literacy. In this workshop, Bill introduces students and teachers to the basics of storytelling. Through examples (a good story from Bill) and participatory exercises (fun for everyone), he gives students a start on being able to tell their own story. Teachers will also learn some simple techniques to continue exploring the world of story as a way to increase students’ confidence and their oral and literary fluency.




The Teaching Power of Stories
Regardless of the subject taught, story is central to how people make sense of the world and build a community with others. In this workshop, participants look at how stories work in people’s lives, what stories define their own lives, and how to use story in an educational setting. Teachers will leave with new ideas for using story in the classroom and a deeper understanding of their work as teachers.


A Love of Story
This workshop focuses on the connections between two aspects of Bill’s work: storytelling and writing. Students who can tell a story are often the ones with stronger reading and writing skills. Bill will offer his insights on the connection between oral fluency and literacy giving teachers a better understanding of how and why storytelling is an essential teaching tool. With a simple hands-on experience in telling stories, this session will be fun, educational and inspirational.


To see Bill in action watch his TEDx talk “Stories Out Loud”

“After watching this TEDx clip, you may never want to stand before an audience again without pausing, at least once, to utter these seven magic words: “Let me tell you a little story.”... most advice about the importance of narrative comes from psychologists and communication consultants, not storytellers. So here is a master storyteller, Bill Harley, talking about his life’s work, and sharing what he’s learned about why storytelling is so central to human understanding...” Tom Smerling, Think Progress

  Contact Debbie Block to find out more about Artist Residencies, Bill's author visits and workshops, or about bringing Bill to your school. Email or call 508-336-9703