Keynote Speaker  |  Workshops


My Philosophy of School Assemblies

  • Get them All involved. No one gets to sit in the back with a coat over his head, feeling like a failure because he is once again not winning any award.
  • Have fun. Research shows everyone learns more when they are having fun. Besides, it is low in carbs.
  • Surprise them. Sometimes I will write a song with them on the spot.
  • Give them a chance to be brave in a supportive environment. We all learn more when we feel safe enough to take risks.
  • Teach them life skills in a way they will never forget. Research shows that novelty and emotional content get information into long-term memory, hence, the puppets and hats.


When I work with schools I like to start with an all school assembly. Eight to ten students meet with me for a half hour, and then we present an interactive assembly about creating environments that bring out the best in everyone. I call this “Home Court.” I also have all the students stand up and act out a Perseverance Poem.

After the forty-five minute assembly, I work in individual classrooms and then debrief with teachers after school. The more days I have with a school, the deeper and more long-lasting the change.
“Vicki made a significant difference for our students on their assessment test scores. Teachers are thrilled with her and the children love her. She has helped us with setting up a positive school climate and increasing our students’ love of writing. She brings a breath of fresh air into the building whenever she comes.”
—Lin Colwell, Taft Elementary


Sample Topics

Learning to Love Writing

Creating Environments that Bring Out the Best in Everyone

Home Court


Home Court

“Why is it that teams win more often on Home Court?”

I ask any group I work with. The answer is simple: support. Support is free. Support is powerful, yet we don’t often teach children how to support each other. We simply hope they will be supportive. I believe it is important to explicitly teach what you want people to be able to do. Start small, build on accomplishments, make it fun, and you will be amazed at what happens – almost instantaneously.

“What happens when you practice something?”

The answer is: “You get better at it.” We are always practicing something. We practice being afraid or being brave. If we practice being brave, we will get better at it. Our world will get bigger. We will be able to do things we never dreamed we could do. And it all starts right now!

Home Court Cheer

This is simple, fun, and immediately engages the entire group. If you can have some older students with you as you teach this, especially if you are doing an assembly, you will increase the buy-in for the rest of the students.
Smile, Nod, Yes! All Right! Cool! We can do it! No one is ever forced to take a risk, but all are encouraged to be as courageous as they possibly can. This is important! People will take enormous risks as long as they know they are in charge and can stop anytime they want.