From Educators:

“Wow – what a fantastic way of introducing the invasive species of the Great Lakes. Your presentation to our school really opened the eyes of our students on the massive problem in our Great Lakes.” – Rick Gillett, Goodwillie Environmental School

“You have such a wonderful way of getting kids to relate to our lakes and think about our human impact on the environment. Probably one of the best, most meaningful and important presentations they will experience.” – Wendell Hocking, Whitehills Elementary

“It was such an honor having you in our building last week. The kids were just abuzz about your book and fun presentation, and were able to connect on many levels – science, reading, writing and social studies. It is a ‘one size learns all’ book. Thanks for a great afternoon of learning!” – Cheryl Radecki, Breton Downs Elementary

“Mark Newman’s presentation is a must-see! Our 3rd-5th graders were fully engaged the entire 60 minutes. Mark has the ability to connect with students in a way that they don’t realize how much they are learning because they are having so much fun at the same time. Our kids loved Mark and our teachers are still raving about him. Without reservation, I give him my highest recommendation. Book him ASAP and you will be amazed!” – John A. Blackstock, Principal of Stadium Drive Elementary

“You had the students on the edges of their seats the whole time! I read Sooper Yooper to them after you left and they loved it! We really appreciate you taking the time to enlighten us on the dangers threatening our Great Lakes.” – Annette Crimmins, Immaculate Heart of Mary School

“Mark Newman did an awesome presentation! He was warm-hearted, had a great sense of humor, and was able to keep the students’ attention while teaching not only about the Great Lakes but also many life lessons – very motivating! We had a great class discussion afterward.” – Sheri Parker, Inland Lakes Elementary fifth grade teacher

“Your visit was so informative! We appreciated the visual displays and the time you allowed for questions from our students. Teachers and students alike learned up-to-date information about the Great Lakes ecosystem, invasive species, and what can be done to preserve this valuable habitat. Your presentation should be part of every school's science program.” – Gary Warners, Grand Rapids Christian Middle School

“My sixth grade students talked about the assembly for days afterwards. They were inspired to take an active role in the preservation of our resources and I was impressed with the amount of information my students took from your presentation. Many of my students also commented on your message to find a goal and then strive to reach that goal. I appreciate you giving them this message.” – Anita Dupes, Hazel Park Junior High School

“Excellent and very informative presentation.  Opened up the eyes of the students and faculty.  The kids left with a lot of knowledge and thinking of ways that they could help.” – Brad Davison, Valley View Elementary

“Teachers and students were enthralled with Mr. Newman’s engaging, hands-on presentation. He brought a much-needed awareness to the plight of our very own Great Lakes. The book is a treasure of information, art and passion for one of the most important causes of our time. We need more superheroes like Mark Newman.” – Mrs. Nadji Bodman, Caledonia Community Schools

“Mark spent nearly an entire day at our school and made presentations for students from kindergarten to eighth grade. I was impressed with his engagement with students of all ages, and certainly his passion not only for environmental consciousness and stewardship but also for sharing the vocation of writing. We would highly recommend Mark to any school wishing to teach their students more about how to protect the Great Lakes and to inspire future writers!” – Eric Burgess, Principal, Rockford Christian School

“Mark did a wonderful job. As an educator, I’m always concerned with speakers being aware of what’s appropriate for 8-11 year olds. His presentation (content, delivery and message) was all age-appropriate. I’d highly recommend him to any school.” – Alex Gates, Caledonia Elementary School

“Thank you for the great presentations you gave to our fifth and sixth graders. They have sparked a lot of inquiry and interest in the students.” – Scott Grippo, West Hills Middle

“Thanks so much for your visit today. It was a fascinating presentation, full of fun and great facts. You are the perfect starting point for our science unit on ecosystems.” – Jane Woudenberg, Heritage Christian School

“Your topic ties in nicely with our science curriculum and it was a great enrichment lesson, especially with the real invasive species to show the students. Thank you for sharing your love of writing and passion for keeping our Great Lakes great!” – Alisa Lyon, Brandon Fletcher Intermediate

“Thanks for a wonderful presentation this week. The information you shared correlated beautifully with content being learned in sixth grade science. I also appreciated the additional messages you sent to the students regarding collaboration, friendship, career choices, writing, their ability to make a difference... and much more. What a great learning opportunity! – Elizabeth Morrow, Macatawa Bay Middle

“Your presentation fit perfectly with our environmental studies. Continued success with your project.” – Pamm Lee, North Park Montessori

From Students:

“I had a great time listening to you teach us about sea lampreys and other Great Lakes invaders. I love your book. It feels like you’re having fun when you’re really learning.” – Noah Kigar

“Your book, Sooper Yooper, is very informational. You must have been up to your neck in research to make that great presentation. I loved it!” – Russell Marvin

“The book that you wrote is fantastic. You know so much about the Great Lakes and all of the invasive species. My favorite part was being able to see a real lamprey up close. The illustrations were outstanding too!” – Joe Freihofer

“Because of your presentation, I will be more aware of the environmental dangers around me. I will also reduce my use of water (taking shorter showers), recycle more and reuse paper until both sides are filled.” – Kira Dean

“Your presentation inspired my friends and I so much that we want to start a Save the Toucans Club to help save animals and our planet.” – Madison

“You have inspired me to do all I can in my power to stop invasive species.” – Mitchell Bednorski

“I saw your presentation the other day and my friends and I started talking about it at our baseball game yesterday and we all talked about our favorite parts.” – Caden

“I learned so many cool things; it’s amazing how many invasive species there are. I hope people realize what is going on and try to do something.” – Blake Hughes

“Your presentation really made me think about our earth and how there’s only one and we have to protect it in the best way we can. Your presentation was inspiring and changed the way I look at things in life.” – Jaysa L.

“Keep making amazing books” – Kelsey

“I learned a lot in the little time you were with us. You gave me lots of knowledge about the state of our lakes and have persuaded me to try to help.” – John D.

“The creativity was extreme in both the pictures and writing; you guys must have done a lot of research to write the book, draw the pictures and present to us about invasive species.” – Ben Finkelstein

“I never knew how invasive species alter an ecosystem. They can be very small, yet very damaging.” – Amanda Young

“If Michigan could move its glove, it would give you a thumbs up!” – Austin Mrazik

It’s cool that you go to different schools and tell a lot of kids about invasive species and inform us about how they can harm our lakes. I know my classmates and I learned a lot from when you came and I think it’s good to inform kids about what’s going on with our environment.” – Lydia Hughes

“Writing a book must be cool because of all the information and interesting facts you get to learn.” – Kelcey Geiger

“Thank you for coming to teach us all those things. I really enjoyed it! I never knew that zebra mussels even existed. I didn’t know that boats used water to float either, or that boats used locks to get from lake to lake.” – Joe

“You amazed me with the information about our Great Lakes and I am glad to find somebody who cares as much as I do about the Great Lakes.” – Cade Demski

“I think you really inspired a lot of kids to write a lot of good books.” – Abbie

“I really liked how much you explained everything and that you even brought some of the invasive species, even though they were dead. The stories you told were hilarious.” – Eve Petrie

“Thank you so much for coming to Goodwillie and telling us about your amazing book. There were so many things you taught us, like the lampreys and the zebra mussels. I am so happy to know all this, so I can help just like you.” – Remy Nelson

“When I grow up, I think I’m going to be an author just like you.” – Leroy