Perspectives: A Shared Author Experience

Originally called The Family Author Experience and re-branded Perspectives: A Shared Author Experience, this program brings a children’s author to a set of District 65 schools each year and includes a combination of school and community based activities.  Through each school’s library and classrooms, students read and/or become familiar with pre-determined, grade-appropriate books by the chosen author. Pre and post visit activities are developed to complement the theme or focus of the author’s work and are coordinated by classroom teachers and the librarian at each school.

In 2018 Foundation 65 was pleased to bring award-winning illustrator and author R. Gregory Christie to five schools in our district for a November visit. This is year one of a four year grant that will reach children in 16 schools across the district. 

Please visit this page to learn about the middle school Perspectives Series on Febuary 7 and 8, 2020.


Video by Glader Filmworks

In October of 2016, five critically acclaimed and award winning authors visited all District 65 schools: Duncan Tonatiuh, Matt de la Pena, Janice Harrington, Grace Lin, and Steve Sheinkin . The “Author Invasion” was highly successful, and engaged over 7000 children in one week.   

The program was created by District 65 librarians, who work closely with classroom and fine arts teachers at their schools to integrate the author visit with core curriculum. Visiting authors are carefully selected by the librarians to ensure that they are relevant to participating school communities. Foundation65_family_author_exp_2

Students acquire greater insight into the writing process of a professional writer through small workshops, classroom visits and school-wide presentations. And, by reading works from the same author, an entire school community is united in a unique experience of inquiry and creativity.

At the heart of this program is the opportunity for students to explore what they have learned through creative ways — through visual arts, music, drama, photography, technology and writing. For students, having the chance to meet an author whose work they have studied for months is exciting and inspiring. The program encourages them to find their own voice around issues and ideas that are relevant to them.

Foundation65_family_author_exp_4Perspectives gives children, parents and families the opportunity to engage with working authors and discover how reading can open doors to ideas, inspiration and growth.  Through the schools and the public library, Foundation 65 brings working authors in for up-close engagement with the community.

Since 2009, Foundation 65 has brought award winning authors to visit EVERY elementary, middle and magnet school in D65 through this program.  The program in its first year was hosted at Nichols, Dewey, Lincoln, Washington and King Lab in 2009-2010, and brought author Jack Gantos. In 2010-2011, Chute and its feeder schools hosted poet Nikki Grimes. In its third year Nic Bishop came to Haven, Lincolnwood, Kingsley, Orrington, Willard and Bessie Rhodes. In the Spring of 2013 the program brought bilingual author Isabel Campoy and musician Suni Paz to all District 65 schools with two-way immersion bilingual programs, Washington, Willard and Oakton Elementary Schools. Author Candace Fleming visited Bessie Rhodes, King Lab, Kingsley, Lincoln, Lincolnwood, Orrington and Walker in May of 2014.

Most recently, author Greg Neri visited Bessie Rhodes (grades 6-8), Chute, Haven, King Lab (grades 6-8) and Nichols in October of 2014.  Click here to learn more about this exciting visit!

Foundation65_family_author_exp_3These amazing authors have visited D65 schools, thanks to the Family Author program:

Jack Gantos (
Nikki Grimes (
Nic Bishop (
Isabel Campoy (
Suni Paz (
Candace Fleming (
G. Neri (

Foundation 65 Family Author Experience Program