Alexander Abroad 2016!

2016 was definitely an exciting year for me. From October 15 to November 16, I had the opportunity to visit over 13 countries and more than 25 cities around the world. Definitely not something I had planned for my 30th orbit around the sun, but once I started I couldn’t stop… and even more, once I learned how to incorporate my books and working with kids from all over the globe, I realized I had found a new passion and new portion of my career! First stop… NEW ENGLAND!

Boston, Massachusses, USA

Before I headed across the pond, I made my annual visit to Boston to see my friend Fallon. This time, I was lucky enough to visit South Boston Catholic Academy. The kids and staff enjoyed hearing my stories and I was happy to finally work in a city that I love to visit. Next time, I hope to return to SBCA and find more schools to work with in the area.

Prague, Czech Republic

I’ve heard so many great things about Prague and after my visit, I have to say that all of it was true. More schools in Prague were interested in me visiting with their students than any other city I randomly decided to visit. I was able to work with four schools in Prague that were all different in structure and style of education. I worked with students from a preschool/elementary school, a Montessori school, an International Christian School and a Language school. Many of these were a first for me and I learned a lot during my visits. I have to give a big thank you to Lana, Vit, Lenka, Ellie and Abbie for having me and making me feel right at home when I was thousands of miles away. Thank you to the Chrisitian International School, Panda Learning Center, Central Point Elementary School, Channel Crossings and International Montessori School of Prague 

Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

My idea of sharing my books with students around the world got it’s start in Liverpool! After thinking about planning a trip to one of England’s most interesting cities, I was able to get in touch with a guy named John from Liverpool’s Ministry of Education. He put me in touch with a few schools, it all went great and now I can say that in less than one year I’ve had the opportunity to  visit over 8 European countries, sharing my stories and love for New Orleans with hundreds of students across the continent. The two schools that started it all back in February of this year were Holy Cross and Monksdown Primary. I had the chance of visiting again and I had a blast. I stuck around for lunch with the kids after a few readings and writing workshops! I’m already working on ways to make next year’s visit have more impact than my last.

Thank you to Holy Cross Catholic Primary School and Monksdown Primary School. 

London, England, United Kingdom

London was definitely a highlight of my trip. I got to visit one of the coolest schools I’ve ever been to, The American School of London. This schools facility and staff was the best I’ve ever experienced. One of the things I noticed and appreciated was the way they treated and spoke to their students. Very supportive, clear and uplifting. I could brag about this school all day. From the awesome options provided for lunch, to the student led assemblies in their university style auditorium, I was blown away the entire time I was there. I loved it so much I didn’t want to leave and ended up spending even more time with the kids during their lunch and recess. I want to give a big shoutout to Patrick for having me and I hope to be back soon!

Amsterdam/The Hague The Netherlands

This might be my favorite place in the world! The Hague was a great place and Amsterdam remind me of home… or at least the Red Light District reminds me of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. I had the opportunity to bike all over Amsterdam, do a couple of boat tours and even visited Anne Frank’s house. Once I got to The Hague I was able to visit The Free School of The Hague. It was a short visit and I didn’t get to take pictures but I did have a great time. I read my books, took questions from the kids and even played my horn. Mr. Schieman was my guide while there! I want to thank him for having me and for setting up my visit. I’ll be back soon!

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Discovery Fest NOLA Students Write & Publish New Book

This summer I had the pleasure of teaming up with Discovery Fest NOLA to help kids at Carrollton Summer camp write and illustrate their new book, Superhero Stories. Honestly, I can’t take much credit for this one. While the kids were at camp, I had to leave town and luckily writer Megan Braden-Perry stepped in to save the day. She worked with the young authors and illustrators for two weeks as they brainstormed, wrote, edited and illustrated wild, imaginative, unstructured stories about superheroes, super powers and larger than life figures in their world.

I also had the opportunity to work with filmmaker and artist, Samantha Smith, for the first time. Sam took the kids’ work and turned it into a great looking book. She also designed and illustrated the cover. If it weren’t for these two women, I would not have been able to bring this book to life. Thank you!! I owe you both!

You can order the students’ book from the CreateSpace Store for only $10. Support the young authors and the great work they do at Discovery Fest NOLA.

See a few pics of book below.superhero-stories-cover

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Coolin’ Out with Cool Scholars

School is back! Sorry kids, but summer is over… Luckily the kids at Cool Scholars got  one more summer treat after their first day back! Each kid got a free snoball from NOLA Snow and a free book of their choice from Big Boot Books. I read Snoballs for All, Thorn in my Horn and played my trumpet for them. Good times!

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Satchmo Fest w/ The Little Toy Shop

What a great weekend! Satchmo SummerFest is one of the smaller but better festivals in New Orleans during the summer. Recently it has been moved to Jackson Square from the Old U.S. Mint and while I personally feel it should take place at Armstrong Park, the move has been great for the festival. On the last day of the festival I had the opportunity to sign a few of my books at The Little Toy Shop right across from all of the music and fun. I met some really cool people, signed a bunch of books and even got some free food! So basically, I won the Satchmo SummerFest. Check out a few pics below.

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Snoball Day at the New Orleans Public Library Summer ’16

Over the summer I had the opportunity to visit a few branches of the New Orleans Public Library… and it was GREAT! At every stop there were big crowds, including parents and families who all joined in on the fun. A few kids walked away with free, autographed copies of my books and everyone left with a free snoball and a smile thanks to NOLA Snow! I want to give a big THANK YOU to all of the librarians and staff who made it possible and I hope to more branches during the fall and winter.

See a few pictures below!

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Acme Reading Timeout w/ New Orleans Pelicans & Acme Truck Line

A huge thank you to Acme Truck Line and the New Orleans Pelicans for allowing me to participate in the latest Acme Reading Timeout at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans and Acme Truck Line gave out over 100 copies of Peter and the Pelican to students from Audubon Charter School. I also had the opportunity to read and speak to students with Mike Coatney, President of Acme Truck Line, in the Pelican’s locker room. The day was extra special because two former classmates of mine, April Dupre of Footprints to Fitness & Chef K.C. of Home Fresh Catering also put on fitness and cooking demos for the students at the arena. Check out the video below!

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Alex McConduit – NOLA to the UK

For the first time in my life I was able to do something I’ve never done before, travel across the Atlantic Ocean and into Europe. I’ve been to most of the states here in the U.S., and I’ve visited a few places in South America but until now, I’ve never been on the other side of the pond. This was a special trip, and what made it even more special was that it would be my first time being able to share my books with students in a different country… AND A DIFFERENT CONTINENT! So before my trip, I was humbled but excited for this opportunity.

I have to give a huge THANK YOU to John Cole and all of the wonderful teachers and staff at the schools I visited. They made everything very easy for me and were excited to have me over. The kids were all very eager and interested to hear what I had to tell them about reading, writing, the U.S. and especially New Orleans. The younger students were able to listen to a few of my stories and suffered through a little bit of my trumpet skills, while the older kids participated in storytelling writing workshops.

I’m extremely thankful to be able to make an impact in a different part of the world. This trip has taught me that writing can take me around the globe, and that reading, even in your own home, can do the same. I hope the kids and teachers that I connected with enjoyed my time. I plan to be back every year if they’ll have me.

Here are a few pictures from my visit to Liverpool, London and Dublin. 

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Snuck a pic during one of our writing workshops!

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Hanging out with Liverpool’s finest…

 

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A nice tweet from one of the schools. 

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Even got to reconnect with my elementary school principal and family friend, Sr. Maeve in Dublin. 

 

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