What teachers, administrators and program directors say about the presentation

“Lanny Kaufer’s “Martin Luther King & the Spirit of the ‘60s” presentation is a theatrical masterpiece of storytelling, music (including period pieces and original scores) and history. Through his first hand accounts of non-violent protests and civil disobedience, he brings the time period alive providing relevance for any student of history. Lanny’s standards-based presentation is a must-see and is sure to entertain, educate and excite. Lanny truly epitomizes the philosophy that actions speak louder than words and is an inspiration to people of all ages who believe in justice and equality for all.”

                                                                                                          Amber McPherson

                                                                                                          History/Social Science Teacher

                                                                                                          2010 Ventura County (CA) Teacher of the Year


“We absolutely loved your presentation.  Our students were very moved, inspired, and amused.  Some, today, were singing, “Put your money where your mouth is.”  We hope to keep in contact with you on future projects including our Career Day and Civil Rights assemblies. Again, we appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to drive for hours in the rain just to share your amazing experiences with our students.”

                                                                                                          Nancy Fegert

                                                                                                          English teacher

                                                                                                          Park West High School

                                                                                                          Pomona, CA


“Lanny Kaufer combines his musician talents and his first person account of the turbulent 1960’s in a way that both informs and entertains. Lanny’s presentation is an exclamation point to our U.S. History curriculum.”

                              Paul M. Marietti


                              Providence School

                              Oxnard, CA


“Lanny Kaufer presents a valuable history lesson of the Sixties and the Civil Rights campaigns in which he played a part. His slides and commentary show very effectively the arc of events that led to Civil Rights legislation and Voting Rights Act, and both his singing of iconic songs and remembrances of Virginia voter drives lend a spirit of authenticity and even joy to the presentation. Lanny knows his subject because he lived it — and his authentic spirit pervades this superbly produced and delivered production. I highly recommend him and his work.”

                              Rod “Jake” Jacobsen

                                                                                                         Chair, English Department

                                                                                                         The Thacher School

                                                                                                         Ojai, CA


“Thanks again for presenting to our 6-8th grade students.  We have gotten a lot of great positive feedback from the students and parents that attended that afternoon. I know that what we were able to see and hear made an impact on many of our middle school students. The staff and other adults present all felt that your first-hand experience really made the presentation most powerful, as well as the fact that you incorporated images, audio and song to connect us to that turbulent time in our history. Your artistic presentation — and attention to state content standards  — make the “Spirit of the Sixties” a must see for all middle and high school students.

                             Jeff Zimmerman


                             6th-8th Grade Open Classroom

                             Ventura Unified School District

                                    Ventura, CA


“The presentation is highly innovative, informative, and exciting. Students are highly engaged and gain a new perspective on the civil rights era. Mr. Kaufer’s knowledge and talent blend together in a fresh and new style that is a guaranteed home run!”

                                                                                                        Geoff Kida

                                                                                                        History/Social Science Teacher

                                                                                                        Renaissance High School

                                                                                                        Santa Paula, CA


“Mr. Lanny Kaufer did a great presentation in honor of Martin Luther King Day for our high school students.”

                                                                                                        Gateway Community School Wolverine Update Newsletter


“The students and I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation on Martin Luther King Jr.  They were most impressed by the music and powerful images.  Many of the students were shocked to learn that racism wasn’t limited to white people versus African Americans, but extended to people of Mexican heritage too….Hope you see you again next year!”

                                                                                                        Nola Drescher

                                                                                                        Special Education Teacher

                                                                                                        Gateway Community school

                                                                                                        Camarillo, CA


“Lanny’s relaxed and informative style kept his audience engrossed as he brought that amazing time 50 years ago to life through photos and the spoken word. To enhance this riveting hour even more, Lanny played guitar, harmonica and sang Freedom Songs with enthusiastic audience participation. It was a pleasure to have Lanny here and to listen and be moved by his talk. I highly recommend this engrossing presentation for audiences from 9 to 99. It is a history we should never forget, and I thank Lanny not only for the talk, but for all he has done for Civil Rights in the ‘60s and beyond.”
                                                                                                        David Scarlett

                                                                                                        Resident Services Director

                                                                                                        The Gables of Ojai

                                                                                                                               Ojai, CA


“Keep up the good work; your program has stuck with me, reminding me that individuals with good intentions and right actions can make an impact.”

                                                                                                        Philip J. McKenna

                                                                                                        President, Gaviota Coast Conservancy

                                                                                                                               Santa Barbara, CA


“THANK YOU, Lanny for your wonderful presentation to our students. Our students and teachers who attended the assembly were so grateful for your presence and all you shared about your personal experiences! We hope to have you back in the future.”

                                                                                                        Mary Ziegler

                                                                                                        Assistant Principal

                                                                                                        Dos Pueblos High School

                                                                                                        Goleta, CA


“I just wanted to thank you again for the wonderful presentation you gave. The audience was so engaged and we got amazing feedback. I’ll spread the word about your wonderful program and please keep in touch.”

                                                                                                        Llyr Heller

                                                                                                        Young Adult Librarian

                                                                                                        Simi Valley Library

                                                                                                        Simi Valley, CA


“Your presentation was phenomenal! You were amazing! Thanks so much for coming to our campus and presenting such an important piece of ‘ongoing’ history. And thanks for the work that you do.” 

                                                                                                         Shelley Savren

                                                                                                         Literature, Arts and Lecture Series

                                                                                                         Oxnard College

                                                                                                         Oxnard, CA


“I REALLY ENJOYED your presentation today. It was entertaining while at the same time VERY informative.  I shows that you have put a lot of time, energy and hard work into this project.  VERY PROFESSIONAL!!! I didn’t know you could play the harmonica, guitar and sing ALL at the same time!  I really think more schools and colleges need to have you bring the presentation to their location.”

                                                                                                         LaRita Montgomery

                                                                                                         Chair, Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Ventura County

                                                                                                         Oxnard, CA


“Thank you for an incredible evening. I can’t stop talking about your heart, music and passion to educate people. Looking forward to seeing your performance again.”

                                                                                                         Marisa Schrier Hersh

                                                                                                         Director of Education and Family Programs, Temple Beth Torah

                                                                                                         Ventura, CA


“Lanny’s presentation on Martin Luther King and the Spirit of the ’60s was engaging, eye opening, and full of rich information for my class of fifth grade students. I can not think of a more perfect way for them to be introduced to the Civil Rights movement than by an individual who experienced it himself. Lanny balanced the information he presented with songs, photos and video clips excellently. The students were on the edge of their seats for half an hour and incredibly curious, as evidenced by their multitude of questions.”

                                                                                                         Kendra Napier

                                                                                                         5th Grade Teacher, Chaparral Elementary School

                                                                                                         Calabasas, CA


“Your presentation was excellent! I found it educational and entertaining. Thank you!”

                                                                                                         Raeann Koerner

                                                                                                         Dean of Life and Political Science, Ventura College

                                                                                                         Ventura, CA


“Lanny Kaufer’s program, ‘Martin Luther King and the Spirit of the ’60s,’ was a big hit at our school. It was both educational and entertaining, capturing the interest of all students, from grades K – 12. I was amazed at the focus given by the K-3 students. Including songs — especially the sing-along ones  — was a great idea. It not only involved the students in the presentation, but broke up the informational parts. I highly recommend this program for any school or community group that wants a thoughtful, personal, moving assembly that truly captures the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King.”

                                                                                                        Craig Walker

                                                                                                        Valley Oak Charter School

                                                                                                        Ojai, CA


“Thank you so much for your Civil Rights presentation to our students. It was very helpful to the students to hear from someone who actually met Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

                                                                                                         Katia Hazen

                                                                                                         Principal, Washington Elementary

                                                                                                         Berkeley, CA


“Your presentation was absolutely riveting for our students. Your skills as a teacher were obvious in the remarkable way you tailored each assembly to the grade level of the audience. We will remember your connection to the past and hope our students remain inspired into the future. I would love to have you come annually to an 8th grade assembly in the spring.”

                                                                                                         Janet Levenson

                                                                                                         Principal, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School

                                                                                                         Berkeley, CA


“I appreciate you relaying to the PHD Team your firsthand experience in the great work by one of the nation’s most prominent men in history. Equality and Diversity make us a stronger Warfare Center which, in turn, better serves the fleet.”

                                                                                                        Ray A. Acevedo

                                                                                                        Captain, U. S. Navy

                                                                                                        Commanding Officer, Naval Surface Warfare Center

                                                                                                        Port Hueneme, CA



  1. Your presentation was absolutely riveting for our students. Your skills as a teacher were obvious in the remarkable way you tailored each assembly to the grade level of the audience. We will remember your connection to the past and hope our students remain inspired into the future. I would love to have you come annually to an 8th grade assembly in the spring.

  2. Thank you, Janet. Your students’ enthusiastic response will inspire my work for years to come. It was a special moment for me to be presenting at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School on President Obama’s last day in office. The significance of that juxtaposition was not lost on me.

  3. Lanny Kaufer’s “Martin Luther King & the Spirit of the ‘60s” is essential standards-based learning for the youth of today. As Mr. Kaufer shares his personal journey through the civil rights movement, the audience is exposed to rare historical photos and archival footage that help contextualize how young people became engaged citizens during the 60’s. As every school strives to produce an engaged citizenry, Mr. Kaufer’s presentation about civic engagement is one of the most important lessons students can learn during their K-12 education.
    Rick Castaniero
    District 17

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