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Once a teacher, always a teacher!
     I began my career teaching fifth grade.  I was, literally, a writing teacher, not only writing my own curriculum to incorporate children's literature, but writing (and revising) when my students did the same.
     When I realized my dream to become a children's author, how could I not become a teaching writer?
     My varied and flexible interactive K-8 school and library presentations focus on the creation of my specific books, my (oh, so long, yet oh, so rewarding) writer's journey, my passion for writing and love of reading and the all-important Reader-Writer Connection. 
     I also facilitate K-8 writing workshops, customizing them to address specific curriculum, district and Publishing Institute needs.
     I frequently participate in the Illinois Young Authors Program at both local and state levels, helping young writers create, craft and celebrate their stories. I also facilitate Family Literacy Celebrations.
    Serving as a consultant to both the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Botanic Gardens, I helped develop respectively an authorship-based program for the Magnet Cluster Writing and Literature Schools and the picture book writing component of the federally-funded Fairchild Challenge.
     Again:  once a teacher, always a teacher.


Student Presentations (Grades K though 8)
• An A-to-Z Journey Through One Writer’s Life and Process
• Cooking Up Stories: One Author's Recipe
• The Confe$$ion$ and $ecret$ of a Children's Book Author

Writer Workshops
• Out and About on Your Character's Plot Line
• Is This Better or Worse? Seeing Your Manuscript with Refracted Eyes  
• Reading Like a Writer/Writing Like a Reader

Teacher/Parent Workshops/In-services
• The ABCs of Growing Young Writers
• Keeping the Reading Lamp Lit:  Of Heart and Hope and the Power to Become
• So, You Want to Write a Children's Book?


Thinking about hiring me for an Author Visit, Writing Workshop, Family Literacy Event or Teacher In-service? Contact me at esthersh@aol.com for further information concerning fees and travel expenses.

Upcoming Visits

  • Chicago Public Schools (Winter through Spring)
  • I'll be virtually visiting libraries and classrooms too!

Schools I have recently visited include:
George Washington Elementary School, Chicago, IL
Lake Zurich (School District 95) Young Authors Program
Ridge Family Center, Elk Grove Village, IL
Henry Winkelman Elementary School, Northfield, IL 
Whittier Elementary School, Wheaton, IL
Gombert Elementary School, Aurora, IL
Abraham Lincoln Elementary, Lincoln Park, IL
Louisa Mae Alcott Elementary, Chicago, IL
Alphonsus Academy, Chicago, IL
George B. Armstrong School, Chicago
Avery Coonley School, Downers Grove, IL
Avoca West Elementary, Wilmette, IL
Beiringer Elementary, Griffith, IN
Boulder Hill Elementary, Montgomery, IL
Braeside School, Highland Park, IL
Carroll Stream Elementary Schools, IL
Central School, Riverside
Chebanse Elementary, Chebanse, IL
Timothy Christian, Elmhurst, IL
Christian Heritage Academy, Glenview, IL
Christian Schools Young Authors Conference, Tinley Park, IL
Jose De Diego School, Chicago
Decatur District #61, Decatur, IL
Euclid Elementary, Mt. Prospect, IL
Field Elementary, Elmhurst, IL
Gregory Middle School, Naperville, IL
Harper School, Wilmette, IL
Nathaniel Hawthorne Elementary, Chicago, IL
Hermansen Elementary School, Romeoville, IL
R.C. Hill Elementary, Romeoville, IL
Kelling School, St. John, IN
Kennedy Junior High, Naperville/Lisle, IL
King High School, Chicago, IL
Christa MacAuliffe School, Tinley Park
Manley Career Academy, Chicago, IL
Marquette Park Elementary, Chicago, IL
Oscar Mayer Elementary, Chicago, IL
Middle Fork Elementary, Northfield, IL
Mill Creek Literacy Institute, Hoschton, GA
Ellen Mitchell Elementary, Chicago, IL
Prescott School, Chicago, IL
Quest Academy, Palatine, IL
River Grove Elementary, River Grove, IL
Rondout School, Lake Forest, IL
Sabin School, Chicago, IL
Louis Salazar Elementary, Chicago, IL
Stiles Elementary, Rockford, IL
Stone Academy, Chicago, IL
Suder Montessori School, Chicago, IL
Thornton High School, South Holland, IL
Warren Township High School, Gurnee, IL
Washington Elementary, Mundelein, IL
Washington Elementary, Rockford, IL
Wayne Thomas School, Highland Park, IL
West School, Glencoe, IL
Woodview School, Bolingbrook, IL
 

Thinking about hiring me for an Author Visit, Writing Workshop, Family Literacy Event or Teacher In-service?

    “When Esther came to our school as a teaching author, she used her prodigious writing skills and love of writing to encourage our young writers to find their own voices. Her focus was on the students, but by taking her own splendid accomplishments as a children’s writer, she said to them, “I can show you how I did it, and together we can figure out how to write the book you want to write!”
   
Esther would always say, “Writing is about making choices,” and the students took that to heart as they chose words and crafted their thoughts and ideas for a book they published in August, 2011 - R Is For River Grove School.
    
Spending three days with Esther was a most memorable experience for our whole school community this year, and our school set a record as we welcomed over 200 parents and children to our culminating activity with Esther-- Family Literacy Night! We are now on a roll for next year!
We truly appreciate Esther’s presence this year!”
Mary Chamberlain, Title I Teacher,
River Grove School, River Grove, IL

"For the past several years, our school has been fortunate enough to include Esther Hershenhorn as part of our Literature and Writing Program.  Facilitating writing workshops for the Illinois Young Authors program, Esther brings an immeasurable and infectious enthusiasm for writing to the students.  She communicates to the children a genuine passion for the written word and shares with them her own experiences with the writing process.  As a result, we have witnessed a substantial growth in both the quality of our students' writing and their desire to produce more writing.  In addition, Esther developed a unique Author-to-Author program in which she meets with student authors individually over a period of time to further develop their unique writing talents.  This program allows her to connect with students in meaningful and unique ways, and to truly develop the 'inner' writer in each child.  Esther's visits have become the highlight of the year for our students and teachers alike.  Esther has become an integral part of our school, motivating teachers and students, and infusing a new level of excitement for writing into our curriculum. Our program would not be the same without her."
— Michelle Knight, Lead Teacher, Writing and Literature
Louisa Mae Alcott School, Chicago

      "Esther visited our elementary school last spring. She was very generous with the her time leading up to the visit, responding quickly to emails and phone calls so that we could plan her visit in a way that maximized her time with our students. She did entertaining and informatve large-group visits with our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and then went into classrooms to do hands-on classroom writing with our 4th graders who were writing their own Illinois alphabet books. Our teachers and students loved her presentations!"
—Gayl Dasher Smith, MLS, NBCT, Library Media Center Director
Gombert Elementary School, Aurora, IL

      "Esther Hershenhorn has become an important and vital addition to our school.  Esther has brought her skills and experiences to our students and staff on several occasions.  Esther has done school-wide assembly programs that invited our students to get a glimpse of the daily life of an author.  We have also had the privilege of having Esther share her writing process and cheer our staff on in a wonderful Professional Development session on writing.  It doesn't stop here---for Esther also shares her time by making classroom visits to read to our younger students and to discuss the writing process with our older students. 
Esther is recognized as a valuable resource to our staff and students.  We always look forward to her visits, for we know we'll not only learn, but we will also experience the joy and humor that Esther brings with her on each visit."

Adrianne Johnson, Oscar Mayer School, Chicago, IL
Lead Literacy Teacher


     "Esther Hershenhorn has facilitated our Young Writers Workshop for the past four years. Esther is filled with such love and enthusiasm for children and writing that she builds an instant rapport with the children. It is such a benefit for children to be able to work directly with Esther and glean from her knowledge of writing. Esther is an inspiring individual and one that I would heartily recommend for an author visit, student workshop, etc."
Linda Zeilstra Sawyer
Assistant Head of Youth Services, Skokie Public Library, Skokie, IL

     "Planning and executing a program with Esther Hershenhorn is really a dream come true.  Esther is so enthusiastic about her work and the children that she impacts, both readers and writers, that she is a real pleasure to work with.  She is a professional yet never forgets the personal touch.  The young people here at the Plainfield Library who took part in our short story contest loved the program she presented for us and were inspired to continue their writing.  Having lunch with her, too, was just the icing on the cake for these young writers."
Ceil Carey, Head of Youth Services, Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield, IL

     "We thoroughly enjoyed our Author Visit and Luncheon with Esther Hershenhorn!  Ms. Hershenhorn dazzled them. At the end of each presentation was a question and answer session. There were so many questions that we had to stop the children in order to complete the sessions on schedule. During the luncheon, she conversed with 13 "lucky" students about their personal reading preferences. Ms. Hershenhorn is a dynamic author, speaker and presenter!  She is down to earth! She is approachable, flexible and was willing to incorporate the suggested activities provided to her in her presentations. You can consider yourself fortunate if she accepts an invitation from your school."
Marian R. Lindsay, Media Specialist, Frazier Elementary School
Greensboro NC
Title I program

"As a third grade teacher, I was searching for a way to connect my students with an author and writing.  From the moment I contacted Esther, she worked diligently with me to tailor her presentation to coincide perfectly with writing workshop.  Within moments of walking in my classroom, she created an atmosphere of excitement and her energy was palpable.  My students had the experience of a lifetime to personally interact with Esther about their own writing.  Esther even took the time to personally read my students writing prior to coming to our classroom.  She added words of wisdom in her own way that were fun, engaging, and memorable.  My students still quote Esther!  In the days directly following her visit were our parent teacher conferences and I had multiple parents telling me the positive effect Esther had on their child.  Esther had an impact both on me as a teacher and my students as writers.  She inspired, and then enabled each of my students to continue writing their fictional stories... and the outcome was fabulous!"
Lauren Gray, Third Grade teacher
George B. Armstrong School of International Studies
Chicago, IL