The Institute for Positive Living's Open Book Program

What's Up at The Open Book Program

Spring Break Kickoff Fundraiser
Books We Are Reading
Open Book Gets A+++ Evaluation


Check Us Out—
Our Other Events

Author Event with M. LaVora Perry.
Author Event with M. LaVora Perry
Lightbearer Award Winners
Highlights from
Eighth Annual Open Book Lightbearer
Benefit Gala
Balloon Launch for HIV/AIDS education.
Balloon Launch Highlights Need for HIV/AIDS Education
Family Math & Leterary Night
Family Math & Literary Night at
Willliams Multiplex





Spring Break Kickoff Fundraiser, March 2010

The Institute for Positive Living (IPL) invites you to its SPRING BREAK KICKOFF on Thursday, March 25, 1020, 5 - 7 p.m. at Room 43, 1039 E. 43rd St. in Chicago. This Adults-Oriented Fundraiser is open to all Chicago Public Schools and staff. It is also open to the public. FOOD! DRINKS! FUN! GAMES! BID WHISK! PRIZES! COMEDY! – and MORE!. Tickets are $10. For information or to purchase tickets contact IPL at 773-924-9802 or 773-924-9803.

Books We Are Reading

Two books by Hope Anita Smith.

Open Book Program participants are reading two books by award-winning author Hope Anita Smith: Keeping the Night Watch and Mother Poems. They are working hart to create mini-plays based on the books which will be performed at the Author Event on March 20, 2010.

There will also be a workshop with Hope Anita Smith for Open Book teachers, parents, and artists on Friday, March19, 2010. The workshop promises to be very valuable since Smith’s company, INKED WELL WORDS, has her teaching writing "wordshops" to writers of every age.


Keeping the
Night Watch

By Hope Anita Smith with illustrations by E. B. Lewis

So many unanswered questions weigh down thirteen-year-old C.J. as he struggles to understand why his father walked out. His father is back now, though C.J. is not as quick to forgive as the other members of his family.


He still feels the weight of responsibility that fell on his shoulders when Daddy was gone, and he’s not prepared to give that up. But C.J.’s anger is making him a stranger in his own home, and instead of life seeming better now that Daddy has returned, it feels worse.

Through powerful poems, Hope Anita Smith chronicles the nuanced emotions of a family that is slowly learning to heal and put the pieces back together.

Mother Poems
Words and pictures by Hope Anita Smith

A young girl thinks of her mom as a superhero, a doctor, her North Star. She feels loved in her mother’s arms and capable of conquering the world. But when her beloved role model unexpectedly dies, she cannot even cry; sadness is too overwhelming. As she struggles with grief, she must learn how to carry on while keeping the memory of her mother very much alive inside her heart.

In moving poems, Hope Anita Smith explores a personal yet emotionally universal subject: the death of a parent. Through the eyes of a child and then a young woman, these poignant poems, together with stunning folk-art images, powerfully capture the complicated feelings of someone who shows great hope, strength, and will to overcome.

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Open Book Gets A+++ Evaluation
Coming Soon—The Open Book Story Slide Show
Sandra F. Johnson (left), the Literary Coach at Armstrong Elementary School and Jacqueline Prince (right), a parent whose son is a participant in the Open Book Program gave testimony to value of the Open Book Program during the symposium on the progress and evaluation of the Open Book Program on June 4th. Their verdict: Open Book g

A PowerPoint presentation about the status of the Institute for Positive Living’s Open Book Program was presented during a symposium on the progress and evaluation of the Open Book Program that was held at the ABC TV Studios on June 4, 2009. The presentation by Laura Knight-Lynn, PhD of the Prism Community Institute highlighted the history of Open Book and its impact on the youth that it has served. According to Knight-Lynn, the Open Book Program is successful include its multiple sources of funding and the collaborative approach used by its staff and consultants. “This is one of the most collaborative programs I’ve ever worked with,” stated Knight-Lynn.

Glowing testimony about the value of Open Book was also given by Sandra F. Johnson, the Literary Coach at Armstrong Elementary School and Jacqueline Prince, a parent whose son is a participant in the Open Book Program at Armstrong. “Open Book is the greatest program I’ve ever been introduced to,” said Johnson, “and I’ve seen a lot of programs.” Johnson pointed out that her Open Book students became excited about reading and that this excitement was so infectious that parents, siblings, other students and even the principal and assistant principal want to read the same books that the Open Book kids are reading.

Speaking from a parent’s point of view, Prince lauded the Open Book program’s effect on her son. “I tried for years to get my son interested in reading without success,” said Prince. “Then one day I was driving the car home at night and noticed that my son was trying to read a book with the car light on.” The book was the one he was reading in the Open Book Program. Prince went to see Johnson for a copy of the book and to find out how Open Book was able to finally get her child excited about reading. She is now an Open Book Parent Volunteer.

A slide show of the PowerPoint presentation, “The Open Book Story: History, Evaluation, and The Future” will be available on-line soon

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