He has spoken in more than 300 schools throughout the country and inspired more than 300,000 young people

The underlying themes of kindness, respect and appreciation resonates with students. Many schools use the content as a foundation for their character education programs.  

The Richest Man in Town

Challenge students academically while inspiring them to cultivate lifelong qualities of kindness, gratitude, and self awareness.

This 65 page download is a complete 4-5 week curriculum to support your students as you read, "The Richest Man in Town."


Teacher's Guide & Activity Book

The Richest Man in Town

Use the "My Reflections" journal to expand students' understanding, self-reflection, and participation while reading, "The Richest Man in Town".

The student journal includes 50+ reflection questions that correspond with each chapter of the book. 


"My Reflections" Student Journal


Teacher, Wyoming

"I have gotten rave reviews from the faculty and students about your presentation. Everyone thought it was the best assembly program we’ve ever had."

Kim, Principal

"You made a definite impact on our school.  I wish you could have hung around as a fly on the wall the past week.  I have heard many references to your presentation and how important it is to choose our attitude, to take care of one another and to do our best every day."

Harv, Principal

“I've never seen our students give a speaker a standing ovation before.  It made me cry.”


V.J. shares, “The first time I ever gave the talk to a group of students I was very nervous.  It was an audience of 400 middle school students and teachers.  When I was done, every one of those kids hugged me.  It was a spellbinding moment.”


Caleb, 8th Grade

"The school always brings in speakers who tell us not to be bullies. Everyone knows that, including the bullies. So instead of telling us what we should be like they tell us what we shouldn't be like. With your story about Marty, I know what I should be like."

Rylie, Sophomore

“When he (V.J.) first started talking, I didn't know that what he was saying would change my life. I will say that I was very bored at first, but then he started telling his story about Marty and it got me interested. Then VJ started talking about being positive and 'what goes around, comes around.' Well, I took another look at my life. The way I think about others and myself, is terrible. I am always being negative and down on myself or others. I'm just a downer and hater of life. I don't really enjoy it. Then VJ told his story. My life will forever be different. I can't even express how much VJ impacted my life.”

Caley, 7th Grade

“It takes a funny and good speaker to make kids laugh, and you did it!”


This is a news segment aired ten years ago.  Yet, the book (with a new cover!) continues to have a big impact on tens-of-thousands of students every year.  Marty's story is as relevant today as it was when it was published over a decade ago.  Kindness never goes out of fashion.

-V.J. Smith


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© V.J. Smith 2018