Programs

Invite Co-Creators Chad Hansted and Kathy Sparrow to Your Organization!

Co-creators Chad Hanstedt and Kathy Sparrow are available for appearances at schools, libraries, youth organizations, Rotary Clubs, and others, either in-person or virtually, depending on the logistics.

Our Mission

The co-creators of Stanky and Cece are on a mission to assist children in developing their inner compasses, choosing what values are important to them, distinguishing between right and wrong, and building the confidence to be engaged members of their community – and, most importantly, respecting themselves and others by making healthy decisions.

Based on a formerly run-down jeep and a failed foster dog, Chad Hanstedt, the creator and a single dad to Olivia, took one look at this odd couple and couldn’t imagine a better pair to teach children important values through the antics of two members of his family – one lively pup and one automobile.

So he began crafting a series of adventures about the two of them, with the help of his co-creator Kathy Sparrow, bestselling author, educator, mom, and grandma to 5 littles – ages 18 months to 14! They added to their team with illustrators James Koenig and Jacob Gray.

Visits are tailored to the needs of the audience and could include:

  • Readings from the books Stanky & Cece: Break the Rules and Stanky & Cece: Out of Control
  • Presentation on how the books came to life and the future adventures of Stanky & Cece
  • Writing Studio Workshops for grades 3-12.*
  • Q & A Interviews with the co-creators on the project and their work together. 

*For older students, 7-12 graders, Kathy will design half-day to multi-session workshops around “The Art and Business of Publishing Books,” which will take students through developing the initial concept, content development, and the publishing and marketing process of the book world. Workshops for grades 3-6 revolve around concept development, character and plot, and working with illustrators.

“Kathy Sparrow and her partner, “The Voice of Flatbed Fred,”  were so engaging and good with our students! They asked for the kids' input about things that were important to them, and the kids loved brainstorming like an author to help develop characters! The slideshow presentation was a great way to organize the presentation and keep kids engaged! The handouts and the work time were great!”

Brittany Gilbert

3rd Grade Teacher Mortensen Elementary

“The students were excited to meet a real-life author! The entire presentation was wonderful! We all enjoyed hearing the story, the follow-up questions, and the interactions with the students. It was all great!”

Hillary Starkey

2nd Grade Teacher, Mortensen Elementary

Not only did Kathy Sparrow excel in engaging the students, but she also left a lasting impact on our educators. Her insights into fostering a love for reading and writing were not only inspiring but also provided practical strategies that our teachers can implement in the classroom. The collaborative atmosphere she created encouraged meaningful dialogue, leaving our staff feeling invigorated and motivated. We are immensely grateful for the positive influence she has had on our students and staff, and we wholeheartedly recommend her to any school seeking a transformative literary experience.”

Kirstin Pulioff

Digital Teacher Librarian West Jeff / Marshdale Elementary

“Kathy Sparrow’s presentation on her books about Stanky & Cece was such a cool and memorable experience for third graders to be able to hear the characters come alive from the actual author of the stories.  The students really seemed to be fully engaged with the story and the characters. They were so excited and involved during the read-aloud and discussion.  It was inspiring for students to meet and interact with a real author who shared some of her process and some of the inspiration behind the characters and settings featured in the Stanky and Cece stories.”

Drew Finholt

3rd Grade Teacher Marshdale Elementary

The energy in the room was palpable as she expertly weaved her storytelling magic. Her interactive approach kept the students actively involved, fostering a love for literature and sparking their creativity. She seamlessly incorporated age-appropriate activities, sparking the imaginations of the younger ones while challenging the older students with thought-provoking discussions and a writer's workshop.

Kirstin Pulioff

Digital Teacher Librarian, West Jeff / Marshdale Elementary

About the Authors

Chad Hanstedt

He is an aerospace engineer who has worked on top-secret projects for many major companies in the industry, including Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing. He holds a master’s in Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a bachelor’s in manufacturing engineering, and an associate’s in manufacturing from Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Additionally, Chad is an accomplished guitarist and songwriter. He also is known for his photography and videography, particularly for musicians. 

Chad was thrust into the world of single-parenthood when he was widowed shortly after his daughter’s birth 18 years ago and has been passionate about instilling a strong foundation of values for her ever since. 

An avid Jeep enthusiast, Chad lives in Arizona and spends his time being a parent, playing music, engineering, and heading off on adventures with his jeeps – and Cece. Cece with his imagination and love of story.

 

Kathy Sparrow

Literary Midwife Kathy Sparrow is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, writing coach, and publishing consultant who has been mentoring aspiring writers of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry for over two decades. 

She was recently named by LA Weekly as one of the “Top 15 Book Coaches to Watch in 2023. With a three-decade tenure in the publishing industry, Kathy specializes in the areas of personal growth and wellbeing, leadership, and memoir.

Kathy is the co-creator of Stanky & Cece Adventures, the stories of Stanky, a formerly run-down jeep, and Cece, a lively failed foster pup, who are on a mission to assist children in developing their inner compasses, choosing what values are important to them, distinguishing between right and wrong, and building the confidence to be engaged members of their community – and, most importantly, respecting themselves and others by making healthy decisions.

She is the co-author and project lead of Ignite Your Leadership: Proven Tools to Energize Teams, Fuel Momentum, and Accelerate Results. Her novel, The Whispered Teachings of Grandmother Trout, is touted as the feminine version of A River Runs Through It. One of her most recent projects is The Precipice of Life: Leadership and Personal Growth Insights from a Mountaineer’s Edge. 

A university professor, she’s been on the faculty of National University, Southern New Hampshire University, the University of Texas-Pan American, and Pikes Peak Community College. She’s taught composition and rhetoric, technical writing, creative writing, literature, theatre arts, and marketing for authors.

An avid fly fisher, hot indoor cyclist, and lover of good books and film, she lives in Toluca Lake, California, with her partner. Find out more about Kathy at www.awritablelilfe.com and www.kathysparrow.com

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