Friday, April 28, 2017

The "Ready, Set, READ!" Show is Almost Done!

Greetings Everyone!
After close to 200 performances both at public libraries last summer and schools this school year, the "Ready, Set, READ!" show is almost done, and the all new "Build a Better World: READ!" show is getting ready to debut in just about a month from now.  

Take a moment to enjoy these photos from the past year of "Ready, Set, READ!" shows - I must say that I am going to miss those outfits...

The last show of the summer was actually my "Nevermore" show - and this group made it a show to remember! 

Morgan and I always celebrate the last day of shows with a lovely treat...actually we do that every day of the summer...

Viktor Lucian enjoys dressing like his dad!

Morgan works hard before and after the shows...during the show she sleeps hard.

Packed crowds all summer long - it's best to arrive early!

These are two budding magicians/entertainers!

Nothing like some tube sock stylin' and profilin'!

My biggest fan, Rebecca!

My kiddos were excited to see "Snowflake" after her week of out of town shows.

Sometimes I have so many different shows in the same day that I get confused...this was the "Ready, Set, POE!" show evidently.

Always try to kid a pic of all the kids in the official summer reading t-shirt.

Another one of those elementary/teen show same day thing...

Shirt + Fanny Pack = Awesomeness

This was my pre-show warm-up...

I was very proud of this outfit...

More packed crowds!

My favorite front row!

Snowflake was a hit all summer long!

I thought the librarians would appreciate this shirt.

This was the first costume to arrive before the summer shows started...it was epic.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Moonflower Vines!

Greetings Everyone!
Now that spring has arrived it is time to get the moonflower seeds from last year into the ground so we can once again enjoy the lovely moonflowers each summer night!  Being quite interested in all things spooky and mysterious, it was a natural choice to plant a flower that only blooms at night - and only once, then it falls off the next day - as this goes right along with all things frighteningly educational!  

As I am absolutely the worst gardener ever, I am still amazed that these survived last summer - unfortunately they cannot survive our colder winter and tend to die off after the first frost of the year.  I think that this year I may have to combine these with some Morning Glory vines so that there will be several blooms both in the mornings and evenings.  

In the meantime, enjoy these pics from last summer's moonflowers!

Absolutely beautiful blooms!



I didn't think this plant would bloom but it surprised me with several!

Often 5-8 blooms per night for several nights in a row!

This little guy hung out for several days before moving on.

Friday, December 9, 2016

October, November, & December 2017

Greetings Everyone! 
As the last few days of the first half of the school year come to an end, schools are already reserving their spots for the Fall of 2017. As of this article post, there is less than a week left of available days in October of next year, and November and December should fill up over the first part of January as schools get back in session after the Christmas break. 

I say all of that to say this: if you want a middle/high program for next Fall, I would encourage you to book now to save a spot!  For everyone who books a date, I'll email you in the Spring so that calendars can be double checked and then contracts will go out in August, but to make sure you have a day - reserve now so you don't get left out!

This coming school year will be a very exciting time as a few of my long time middle schools will be celebrating 10 years in a row of seeing my "Authors of Mystery and Horror" program!  How exciting!!!  I'm still waiting on a teacher at one of these schools to recite my show for me while I pantomime the show to their narration as some of the teachers have seen my show 40 times at this point! (And yet somehow they still stay awake and seem to be enjoying themselves!) 

 


Testing Testing Testing!

This is a quick test of a new blogging app - lets see if it shows up!!!

 
  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Comments for A Haunted Christmas!




"Chad encouraged reading in a positive way by citing examples of his own reading in the past and present.  He also shared summaries of short stories and left students in suspense as to the ending of each one.  He shared passages from "A Christmas Carol" with students to create suspense.  My favorite part of the show was when he performed the illusion of the bells ringing.  It was interesting and related directly to the passage we had read recently in "A Christmas Carol."  I would definitely recommend Chad to other educators.  He was engaging, amusing, interesting, a little scary, and very well informed about his subject!  Many of my students are printing and downloading the short stories mentioned in the presentation.  They have already read several and are discussing and sharing them in class.  We all loved it - students and teachers!"  Dorothy Jackson, ELA Teacher, Riverside Middle

"The way Chad introduced the scary stories and talked about them was very engaging and enticing to the students.  My favorite part was when he read the part of "A Christmas Carol" and told the three students to stand up if they felt a touch.  Their facial expressions were priceless!  Having students come up and be part of the presentation was my favorite part.  I would absolutely recommend the show to other educators - it was the perfect concluding activity for our "Christmas Carol" study.  The students were engaged and very attentive the entire show!"  Kristi Mathis, ELA Teacher, Riverside Middle


  "Our students were hooked with the "teasers" of the ghost stories, and we had many ask to be put on hold for the books you mentioned.  I would definitely recommend the show to other teachers and librarians.  It was engaging, had a lot of fresh content, and amazing new tricks!  Several students went ahead and downloaded the stories on their phones.  As always, Chad was the consummate professional, he engaged and inspired the students, and we enjoyed having him!"  Gaelyn Jenkins, Media Specialist, Riverside Middle

"The way you explained the scary stories and left the children hanging was perfect.  I had students return to the classroom and immediately download the books on their devices.  I would absolutely recommend the show.  The students were very engaged and it fit perfectly with our unit.  Many students wanted to know where they can get the books - it was great!"  Ms. Young, ELA Teacher, Riverside Middle

"You were able to get students attention with quotes from various books/stories and interactive illusions.  I think your use of students volunteers is effective in getting them involved in the stories.  You then left them wanting more of the stories by withholding the endings.  This will encourage them to read the stories for themselves.  My favorite part was the illusion where all 3 student volunteers stood up simultaneously after hearing the quote from "A Christmas Carol."  This is a great opportunity to have a field trip without leaving the school building.  The program engages the students with literature in an unexpected way - great show!"  Leigh-Ann Hunt, Media Specialist, Ashworth Middle

"What a wonderful new show by Chad Crews!  "A Haunted Christmas" was engaging for our students and highlighted authors with which they were not familiar.  The day after the show, all six copies of "A Christmas Carol" were checked out and there is a student waiting list for our one copy of M.R. James' short stories!  Even our magic books have seen a resurgence in popularity.  The addition of Midnight Syndicate's musical score made the show that much more special, as does Chad's authentic costuming.  This is is a uniquely creative way of exploring ghost stories with students...it does not disappoint!  I have been delighted to host Chad in our library the last two years and the students are always asking when he will return.  Teachers have been pleased with the performances and have requested that we continue to have chad come back time and again.  Of all the things I've added to our library program, this is by far the one that has resulted in high book circulation numbers and requests for related titles!  I would highly recommend this show (and frequently DO recommend it) to other library media specialists!  Thanks again Chad for all you do!"  Leigha Burnham, Media Specialist, Gordon Central High


  "The show completely encouraged reading in a positive and entertaining way!  One of our teachers told me that the students hurried to their lockers after the show to grab their "A Christmas Carol" books to look up the quotes that you talked about in the show.  We also had a least 20 kids stop by the media center today to see if we had the "Casting Runes and Other Ghost Stories" book ready for check out.  One of the teachers commented that they had many reluctant readers trying to find a way to get a copy of the Casting Runes book for the weekend.  The students loved the part of the show where the volunteers get touched.  They are completely convinced that it must be the ghost of Charles Dickens!  I would totally recommend the show to others!  It gets kids excited about reading!"  Kristen Deuschle, Media Specialist, Piney Grove Middle

SCASL 2016 Password: Bah Humbug!

"Immediately after the show, the students were asking for the authors' names/works' titles so they could read more.  I ended up displaying them with a link so they could access them.  I know several from each class have already read some!  I enjoyed all of the show, but I particularly liked the portion from "A Christmas Carol, since that's one of the texts we read in 7th grade each December.  My students are more excited than ever before to begin reading "A Christmas Carol" next week!  I would recommend the show without hesitation!  It was very entertaining while also being educational - the perfect mix!"  Hailey Burns, ELA Teacher, Ashworth Middle



Friday, November 6, 2015

A Haunted Christmas Program Early Debut!!!


Here's a brief preview from my Facebook Fan Page - more details coming soon:

Midnight - a most appropriate time to announce an all new show which will debut this December for a select number of schools at a discounted rate. Introducing "A Haunted Christmas" which will feature "scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago..." 
During this most wonderful time of the year, students will hear and witness strange and unusual happenings as they learn all about Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, M.R. James Ghost Stories (which were written to be read aloud on Christmas Eve!), and the legend of the Krampus - St. Nick's evil helper. 
There are still a few spots open for this December if you'd like to see the early version of the show at the lower price! Send a message if you'd like to learn more and feel free to share this with your colleagues at both the middle and high school levels!
Oh, and Midnight Syndicate and their new album "Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering" will be featured exclusively throughout the show - with their permission of course! See previous blog post for more info on the new album!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October is HERE!!!

Greetings Everyone!
It's that time of year again - the weather is getting cooler and the leaves are about to start changing color - and I am about to travel all over the Southeast performing middle and high school programs!  The first "Nevermore: Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe" was this morning at Marietta Middle School - and it was a blast!  Here is a quote from Ms. Jablonski, an 8th Grade English Language Arts teacher: 


"I heard nothing but rave reviews of your show today!  Our students and teachers loved it!  They couldn't stop talking about it today and are so excited to read more Poe now!  We want you back next year, for sure!  Thanks again!"

This week I was also privileged to take part in Spartanburg 7's Seven Reads program.  I performed my "Super Reading Extravaganza!" show at all 7 of their elementary schools.  I met a lot of AWESOME students who were very excited about reading and using their library!  




Below is a link to a great article and video from the local news program:

http://wspa.com/2015/09/30/magician-kicks-off-reading-program-for-district/

In other interesting news - if you like the music in my middle/high programs and want to hear something very similar - I would encourage you to check out Midnight Syndicate's new CD "Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering" which is out today on iTunes and Amazon.  You can click on the picture below to find out some more info - it's a great combination of spooky music and traditional Christmas Carols.  This may be my favorite Midnight Syndicate album of all time - and I own many of them! I have already listened to it all the way through twice today as I drove back and forth from Atlanta for my Nevermore program!

http://midnightsyndicate.blogspot.com/2015/10/christmas-ghostly-gathering-available.html

Tomorrow it's onward to Myrtle Beach for 4 performances of my "Authors of Mystery and Horror" program at St. James High School!  I can't wait! 

Well, that's all for now - I shall see many of you soon as the Fall Tour continues!