Back to School Readers’ Workshop

CPS students

Chicago Public School students attended a Back to School Readers’ Workshop sponsored by the Institute for Positive Living/Open Book Program in conjunction with the Illinois Institute of Technology on August 14, 2014.

The young people, ages 8-14, got a chance to work on reading skills with National Award Winning Author Sharon Draper and Acclaimed Authors Earl Sewell and Bernard Turner. The students got a chance to get a free copy of one of the authors’ books.

Sharon Draper

National Award Winning Author Sharon Draper (center) is pictured with Acclaimed Authors Earl Sewell and Bernard Turner. They each are holding copies of one of their books.


Accomplished Children’s Book Author Sharon Draper, a professional educator as well as an accomplished writer. She has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Awards, and is a New York Times bestselling author. She was selected as Ohio’s Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator, Ohio Teacher of the Year, and was chosen as a NCNW Excellence in Teaching Award winner. Draper holds three honorary doctorates and has been honored at the White House six times! She is the acclaimed author of the Sassy series, many books for teens including bestsellers Copper Sun and We Beat the Street and so many others. She is actively involved in encouraging and motivating all teachers and their students. Learn more about Sharon Draper at (


National Bestselling Author, Earl Sewell was born in Chicago, IL. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Fiction Writing from Columbia College of Chicago and will complete a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College in November of 2014. Sewell has written thirty novels, eleven of which are for young adults. He has won a number of literary awards and has been featured in School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly and Jet Magazine. He currently teaches creative writing workshops at public libraries around the Midwest. To learn more about Mr. Sewell and his books visit (


Bernard Turner has a career in teaching German and Spanish and he has been a sales representative and marketing manager in educational publishing for more than thirty years. In 2002, Mr. Turner founded Highlights of Chicago Press with the publication of A View of Bronzeville, a neighborhood tour guide that focuses on the important institutions and people that made Bronzeville a great neighborhood. In 2014, with Michelle Duster, Mr. Turner completed his latest book Tate and His Historic Dream. To learn more about Bernard Turner and his writings visit (

The workshop was supported by IDHS, State Senator Mattie Hunter and Bronzeville Community Action Council.

Participants Participants Participants Participants Participants

The young participants in the Back to School Readers Workshop got a chance to select a free book written by the Authors Sharon Draper, Earl Sewell and Bernard Turner.