School Visits

School Visits

School Visits

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"YOU are a STAR...Keep Shining!"

A heart-centered enrichment program with NYT Bestselling Children's Author Laura Duksta


In a room filled with young children and adults, Laura Duksta instantly captures your attention and before you know it, she captures your heart. She's like a wizard. A lot of magical twinkling fills the room and inside each little soul stars are born.
Mary Dewald, daughter, mother, grandmother and 5th grade teacher, Weston, FL


YOU are a Star...Keep Shining!” compliments both your SEL and character enrichment efforts, as well as serving as an author visit. While Laura writes picture books, she typically presents to the entire school, as the older students benefit from her experience going and growing through her life's challenges, as well as her adventures as an author. Laura's also a big believer that you are never too old for a good picture book!

"YOU are a STAR...Keep Shining!" covers:

        • Author/ Writing Experience: learning to value the editorial process, and appreciating that our best work is rarely “one and done!” 

        • Life Lessons and Adventures: Laura lost all her hair at age 11 to a condition called Alopecia Areata. From dealing with being bullied, to learning self-love and finally embracing her bald head and harnessing the power, freedom and FUN that comes from being yourself

      • Genius: learning to tune in to our own innate wisdom that by design is a part of each and every one of us

      • Resilience: our biggest challenges are often our greatest teachers and lead to discovering our own unique gifts, talents and genius 

      • Discover Your Gifts: Reading to develop and nurture a healthy imagination, the power of our word - how we speak to ourselves and one another matters, and choosing kindness
      • Enthusiasm:  Laura's Signature Cheers - "Keep Shining!" and "I AM a Genius!"
      • Q & A: Laura loves answering the students questions, which is why she requests longer assemblies for the older grades
      • Bonus Opportunity: "Lunch with Laura" with a select group of students. This may include student council representatives, essay winners, gifted classes, reluctant readers, or her favorite - young people who are going and growing through their own challenging situations
      • Workshop or breakout type sessions for students or teachers can also be created based on your schools needs
      • Students and teachers will have the opportunity to purchase signed books, a flyer we create can be sent home prior to Laura's visit

If beneficial, Laura can also add mindfulness practices from the - a program she and her team bring to middle schools and air on Becon-TV.

Email Laura Here for Booking Inquiry

In the message please include name of school or organization, location, how many students approximately, your budget and possible dates. Laura or a team member will get back to you ASAP. 

Testimonials and a list of schools visited below....





First grade student, American Heritage, Palm Beach Campus

On behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of Virginia S. Young Montessori Magnet, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank you for coming out to our school. Your performances demonstrated your passion for positive thinking. Your message that everyone is a genius and anyone can achieve their dreams resonated with our students and staff. Afterwards, I overheard students sharing with others the impact of your presentation on how they view themselves and others.

When we scheduled your visit, we had no idea how dynamic and powerful your program would be. It is my pleasure to recommend you as an outstanding author/presenter to other schools in our district and beyond. You are now a celebrity of our students and your performances demonstrated the importance of reading, believing in yourself, and pursuing your dreams. Any school would be blessed to have you as a presenter. You truly touched the lives of our students and we thank you. We now believe in the beauty of our dreams and to always keep shining!

Jennifer Narkier, Media Specialist, Virginia S. Young Montessori Magnet


I was planning a community event, and wow did I hit the jackpot bringing in New York Times Bestselling author, Laura Duksta!!! She spoke to our book club after school and then came back for a sensational evening event. Both presentations exceeded my expectations. Laura inspired future authors to never give up, and realize that sometimes it takes a little failure to find success. Laura also inspired others to feel good about themselves with her fun cheers! She had students, parents, and community members on their feet, and feeling great!

Many of you think that during these difficult financial times, it’s not possible to afford such an event. That’s not true. Thanks to the tremendous support from a school partner, I was also able to secure Laura’s fee with ease. I would highly recommend Laura and her program to students, parents, and teachers! What an enthusiastic author! Don’t miss out!!!

Amy, Third Grade Teacher, Weston, FL


Thank you so much for your presentation at St. Mark's. I can truly say that we were all overwhelmed by your positive message! I was so impressed with your ability to communicate effectively with all age groups. Each of the groups you spoke to from the 1 year old class to the 8th grade enjoyed your book and talk. I have seen kids doing the I Shine cheer all week and our 7/8th grade Math teacher tells me she uses the genius cheer every day at the start of class! I hope you will come back and talk to us about your next book--we are looking forward to it!

Heidi Burnett, Director, School Media Center, St. Mark's Episcopal School


Laura Duksta and Karen Keesler are great! They have a presentation that truly supports the work of educators, parents and children. Their message of love includes both affective and academic elements. Social and emotional issues discussed include dealing with personal challenges, differences in yourself and others, appreciating yourself and others, using the imagination and self-affirmation, setting goals, accepting constructive criticism, and using your talents to help others. Academic issues include keeping a positive attitude in school, exploring the creative process, drafting and revising work of any kind (including written and artistic work) and persevering to complete a project. Laura and Karen know how to tailor their program to audiences of various ages. They helped my school find the genius inside each one of us!

James McGhee II, Headmaster, Alexander School, Miami, FL


I feel it’s been a privilege to have crossed paths with these lovely ladies because of their message of love and their dedicated, compassionate method of delivering that message not only through their book and their web site, but also through their personalities. Every chance I’ve had to interact with Laura and Karen tells me that they have a strong message that needs to be heard not only in South Florida, but around the world.

Julia E. Spann, Youth Services Librarian Pembroke Pines/Walter C. Young Res. Center


“I find Laura to be an amazing person and feel that her positive outlook on building relationships is in keeping with our Character Education Program.”

Susan Messing, Proud Principal, Chancellor Charter School


“I thought Laura’s presentation was great. The students and I talked about it after the show. The students focused on what it must be like and feel like to look different and how important it is to treat everyone with kindness. We discussed how we all have two eyes, two ears, etc. yet how we all have special qualities that make us different.”

Debbie Geller, Teacher Imagine Schools

When the guidance counselor who booked Laura at American Heritage (Broward campus), asked her 6th grade son what he thought of the program, expecting one of his typical responses of “Boring” or “Ok,” she was  surprised by his heartfelt answer, “The only problem was that it should’ve been longer!” The program was an hour!

Media specialists frequently comment on Laura's ability to engage, and effectively communicate, with younger and older students. While she typically visit elementary schools, she has talks designed for all ages from preschool to high school, personal development days, educator seminars, mommy and me groups, as well as senior living homes...the message of LOVE resonates with and makes a difference for people of all ages! 

It is Laura's ability to be PRESENT with the students that is the true GIFT!



Schools Visited


Mesa: Zaharis Elementary

Tempe: Changing Hands w School for the Deaf



La Jolla: The Children's School

Lake Tahoe: Environmental Science Magnet,

Los Angeles: St James Episcopal

Murrieta: Murrieta Elementary



Aspen: Aspen Elementary, Wildwood and others

Denver: Mile High Center for Spiritual Living Youth Program

Longmont: St John the Baptist Catholic School



Amelia Island: Amelia Island Montessori

Atlantic Beach: Atlantic Beach Elementary

Bryceville: Bryceville Elementary

Celebration: Celebration Elementary

Coral Springs: Riverside, Country Hills, Cambridge Schools

Davie: David Posnack Temple School

Delray: American Heritage (two visits)

Fort Lauderdale: Virginia S Young, Lloyd Estates, Floranada, St Mark's, Pinecrest, St Anthony's, Delmar academy

Fort Pierce: Fort Pierce Magnet School for the Arts

Hollywood: Beach Montessori

Lady Lake: The Villages of Lady Lake Elementary

Leesburg: Leesburg Elementary

Miami: Alexander School, Miami Country Day, St Francis, St Thomas

Mount Dora: Round Lake Charter

Pembroke Pines: Cambridge Schools

Pinecrest: Pinecrest Elementary

Plantation: American Heritage (four visits)

Pompano: Lighthouse Point Christian

New Port Richey: Fox Hollow Elementary

Tamarac: Liberty Elementary

Tangerine: Tangerine School House

Weston: Everglades Elementary, Imagine Charter, Cambridge Schools

West Palm Beach: Meyer's Academy, Academy of the Palm Beaches

Windermere: Keene's Crossing Elementary



Glenview: Willowbrook

Shorewood: Walnut Trails

Streamwood: Ridge Circle

Wheaton: St Michael's Elementary



Alexandria: St Joseph Cold Spring

Bowling Green: Briarwood Elementary



Halifax: Halifax Elementary

Hingham: Notre Dame Academy, St Paul's Catholic School

Kingston: Kingston Elementary

Marshfield: Governor Winslow, Ames Way

Milton: Collicot

Plymouth: Federal Furnace Elementary

Quincy: South Shore STARS Preschool

Randolph: South Shore STARS preschool

Scituate: Hatherly, Jenkins, Lil' Munchkins Childcare & Preschool, Owl's Crossing Preschool

Weymouth: South Shore STARS Preschool 


Overland: Marion Elementary

St Louis: Immacolata, New City School


New Jersey:

Caldwell: Grandview, Trinity Academy

Orange: Forest Street

West Orange: Gregory Elementary


New York:

Frost Valley YMCA for CAP 

Port Washington: Parent Resource Center



Cincinnati: Guardian Angels, Sands Montessori, Mercer, Welch, Colerain

Kings Mills: Kings Mills


South Carolina

Aynor: Aynor Elementary

Conway: Kingston Elementary



Brentwood: Kenrose

Franklin: Walnut Grove, Clovercroft

Nashville: Mama Lere School for the Deaf, Vanderbilt

Mt Juliet: Rutland Elementary

Spring Hill: Allendale

Watertown: Watertown Elementary


Austin: Blazier Elementary


Want to add your school to the list, CONTACT US today!