Library of Congress Literacy Award Winner 2023 Successful Practices Honoree Badge

Over the past 14 years we’ve witnessed the impact that an author or illustrator visit can have on a student, and the power of receiving a signed book to keep. It’s so gratifying to be part of a community that understands and celebrates reading through equitable access to books and to the authors and illustrators who create them.


An Open Book Foundation connects Washington DC-area students with authors, illustrators, and their books to nurture a lifelong love of reading.
We support educational justice by building equitable access to interactive literacy enrichment and high-quality books.

Maria Gianferrari • Hawk Rising • Whetstone Elementary School

OUR VISION: Children see themselves as readers, who use their written and visual literacy skills to navigate a complex world and define their own future.

An Open Book was created to provide access to books, authors, and illustrators. AOB’s programs offer students in qualifying schools the opportunity to connect with authors, illustrators, and their books. Students receive their own signed copy of the featured book to add to their home libraries. Studies confirmed that growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills in literacy, numeracy and technological problem solving.

Some of our programs provide breadth—every year, our Flagship Program offers upwards of 10,000 students the opportunity to meet and interact with an author and/or illustrator. Some of our programs provide depth—an opportunity for students, teachers, and authors/illustrators to further explore a particular aspect of a book or a component of the writing or illustration process.

These personal connections are inspiring the next generation of storytellers.


Engaging School Visits
Preschoolers laughing uproariously as a visiting author regales them with her latest picture book. Elementary school students watching, rapt as an illustrator brings to life a character from his graphic novels. Middle school students working with an award-winning author in a writers’ workshop. High school students discussing with an author their experiences with peer pressure as compared to those of the characters in the book they just received.

Book Signings
A student shyly walks up to the table where the author or illustrator is waiting, sharing their name and engaging in a short conversation. Sometimes it’s just to smile and say hello, but other times there’s more to say—a connection with the presentation or workshop, or the observation that book creators are “just like us!”

Meaningful Conversations
A group of high school students sits in a relaxed and informal setting with an author. No technology, no elaborate presentation, but an honest discussion about current issues covered in the book students receive—identity, social justice, poverty, immigration, family dynamics. Being seen can make a difference.

New and Emerging Artists of Color
Our program for new and emerging authors and illustrators of color amplifies the creative voices of Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color authors/illustrators. It provides additional opportunities for the students we serve to see themselves, not only in books but also in the creators of these works. We offer a small stipend (and will cover travel expenses when we return to in-person visits) to debut authors and illustrators, acknowledging the very real financial constraints on emerging artists in the field of children’s literature.

Extension Activities
Students dig into their school gardens as they pick, prune, and plant alongside author Tony Hillery. Hillery shares his story, Harlem Grown, and tips based on his experience developing school gardens in NYC. Led by nonprofit partner FRESHFARM FoodPrints, students taste a variety of fruits and vegetables to compare flavors, discuss optimal growing conditions, and decide on their favorites. An Open Book partners with area nonprofits on selected events for a creative, connected activity that deepens learning.`

Equipped with a fresh set of paints, brushes, scissors, glue sticks, and a journal, students discuss personal narratives with author-illustrator Cozbi Cabrera. Using her books Me & Mama and My Hair is a Garden as case studies, they experiment with tertiary colors, painting, cutting, and pasting to create a collage that says “this is me.” Exploring composition to create interest, clarity, and tension, their final pieces are paired with others to create a collaborative class “quilt.”

STEM Residence
How can we protect wildlife in our increasingly congested world? Author Heather Montgomery encourages students to think creatively and design highway crossings using a selection of materials they each received from AOB. Straws, tape, rulers, paper, blocks, and putty become bridges with lanes, signals, and native foliage to support safe crossing for all sorts of creatures. Using Montgomery’s book, Something Rotten: a Fresh Look at Road Kill for primary research, students record their findings in a scientific journal as they test various methods and designs.


Our events reach students in PreK through Grade 12. Here’s a sample. To stay up-to-date, follow us on social media.

Author Heather McGhee at Ida B. Wells Middle School


Students listened to stories from The Sum of Us and talked about the importance of economic, racial, and social justice.

Author Nick Brooks at H.D. Woodson and Eastern High Schools


Students were all ears during Brooks’ interactive talk about Promise Boys.

Author Jacqueline Woodson with students at The Kennedy Center.


AOB, along with 1st, 2nd, & 3rd graders took a field trip to the Kennedy Center to witness the debut of the commissioned musical, The Day You Begin.

Author Heather Montgomery at John Burroughs Elementary School


Over the course of a three-day STEM Residence, students engaged in hands-on activities inspired by Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill, building model bridges to transport wildlife.

Author Isabel Roxas at Twinbrook Elementary School


Students created their own characters and stories in a two day comics workshop inspired by The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens.

Author Meg Medina with students at Planet World


In partnership with Planet Word, students visited the museum to learn about translanguage, language acquisition, empathy, and idioms. The featured book: Merci Suarez Changes Gears.

SINCE 2011…










An Open Book visits DC-area Title 1 schools. Since 2011, we have reached over 100,000 students, organized 2,500+ presentations, and donated more than 120,000 books.

Map of An Open Book Site Locations

    The generous authors and illustrators who donate their time and talent, and the publishers and literary agents who support their efforts, remain the backbone of An Open Book Foundation’s event program. The connections authors and illustrators make with students lie at the heart of an AOB event. They not only share their books with students, they often share their personal stories and their individual journeys – providing a glimpse into possible career paths.

    Participating Authors and Illustrators

    Participating Authors Chart

    An Open Book Foundation works with each author and illustrator to tailor each event; past presentations have included writing workshops, science demonstrations, work with primary sources, reading and Q&A, and art projects. Authors and illustrators who’ve participated in our program routinely describe their experience as impactful and meaningful.

    Each year we survey educators and students after events. Here’s what they have to say:
      • 84% of educators could tie a flagship event directly to their classroom curriculum
      • 100% of our artist-in-residence programs sparked new ideas and conversations among students
      • 64% of students are more curious about a career as an author or publisher
      • 65% will read the new book they received “right away” or “soon”


    Essential to the success of An Open Book Foundation are the dedicated educators and administrators at the schools we visit and the authors and illustrators who participate in our events.

    Hannah Barnaby • Garcia & Collette Go Exploring • Mary Harris Mother Jones Elementary School

    Combining all our efforts, we look to inspire the quiet kid in the back who always thought she might have a story inside of her, but was never brave enough to believe it. Or the struggling student who finds math and English a challenge but thrives in art and needed to see where that might take him. Perhaps connecting with an immigrant student who truly benefits from seeing someone who understands what they are going through. Finally, connecting with so, so many children and teens through quiet little conversations that happen during book signings.


    Participating schools across the DC area include qualifying public and charter schools, as well as institutions that support students with specific educational needs. We also reach students through after-school programs and other venues serving families in need. We work with Title 1 schools, or schools where at least 50% of the students qualify for free and reduced meals.

    Interested in having An Open Book visit your school? We look forward to partnering with you! Use our School Interest Form to reach out.

    A sample of schools with whom we partner:

    Washington DC

    Ward 1

    • Bancroft Elementary School
    • Benjamin Banneker High School
    • Bruce Monroe Elementary School
    • Cleveland Elementary School
    • Columbia Heights EC – Bell Multicultural HS
    • Columbia Heights EC – Lincoln MS
    • H.D. Cooke Elementary School
    • Marie Reed Elementary School
    • Tubman Elementary School

    Ward 2

    • Garrison Elementary School
    • Seaton Elementary School
    • Thomson Elementary School

    Ward 4

    • Barnard Elementary School
    • Brightwood Education Campus
    • Capital City Public Charter School
    • Coolidge High School
    • Dorothy I. Height Elementary School
    • E.L Haynes Public Charter School
    • Ida B Wells Middle School
    • John Lewis Elementary School
    • LaSalle Backus Education Campus
    • MacFarland Middle School
    • Raymond Education Campus
    • Roosevelt Senior High School
    • Takoma Education Campus
    • Truesdell Education Campus
    • Whittier Education Campus

    Ward 5

    • Briya Public Charter School
    • Brookland Middle School
    • Browne Education Campus
    • DC Prep: Edgewood Middle Campus
    • Dunbar High School
    • Friendship Woodridge International Elementary/Middle
    • John Burroughs Elementary School
    • McKinley Middle School
    • McKinley Technology High School
    • Noyes Elementary School
    • Washington Jesuit Academy
    • Wheatley Education Campus
    • Langdon Elementary School
    • Langley Elementary School
    • Luke C. Moore High School

    Ward 6

    • Amidon Bowen Elementary School
    • Eastern Senior High School
    • J O Wilson Elementary School
    • Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School
    • Miner Elementary School
    • Payne Elementary School
    • Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts
    • Stuart-Hobson Middle School
    • Tyler Elementary School
    • Walker Jones Education Campus

    Ward 7

    • Anne Beers Elementary School
    • DC Prep: Benning Middle Campus
    • Friendship Southeast Academy Public Charter School
    • H.D. Woodson High School
    • Houston Elementary School
    • Kelly Miller Middle School
    • Kimball Elementary School
    • Plummer Elementary School
    • Ron Brown College Preparatory High School
    • Thomas Elementary School 

    Ward 8

    • Anacostia High School
    • Ballou High School
    • Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys
    • Boone Elementary School
    • Charles Hart Middle School 
    • Excel Academy 
    • Friendship Tech Prep Middle and High School
    • Hendley Elementary School
    • Ketcham Elementary School
    • Kramer Middle School
    • Malcolm X Elementary School
    • Martin Luther King Elementary School
    • Patterson Elementary School
    • Savoy Elementary School
    • Simon Elementary School
    • St. Thomas More Catholic Academy
    • Stanton Elementary School
    • Turner Elementary School
    • Washington School for Girls: The ARC Campus
    • Washington School for Girls: The View Campus
    • Leckie Elementary School


    Prince George’s County

    • Barnaby Manor Elementary School
    • Buck Lodge Middle School
    • Flintstone Elementary School 
    • Hyattsville Elementary School
    • Mary Harris Mother Jones Elementary School
    • Mount Rainier Elementary School
    • Port Towns Elementary School

    Montgomery County

    • Brookhaven Elementary School
    • Burnt Mills Elementary School
    • Colonel E. Brooke Lee Middle School
    • Cresthaven Elementary School
    • East Silver Spring Elementary School
    • Gaithersburg Elementary School
    • Gaithersburg Middle School
    • Glenallan Elementary School
    • Highland Elementary School
    • Jackson Road Elementary School
    • JoAnn Leleck Elementary School at Broad Acres
    • Loiederman Middle School
    • Montgomery Knolls Elementary School
    • Montgomery Village Middle School
    • New Hampshire Estates Elementary School
    • Newport Mill Middle School
    • Northwood High School
    • St. Francis International School
    • Twinbrook Elementary School
    • Wheaton High School
    • Wheaton Woods Elementary School
    • Whetstone Elementary School


    Alexandria City

    • Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School
    • Francis C. Hammond Middle School
    • Jefferson-Houston School

    Fairfax County

    • Graham Road Elementary School
    • Lynbrook Elementary School
    • Poe Middle School


    AOB’s guests include a mix of award-winning authors and illustrators. Our New and Emerging Artists of Color Program amplifies new voices in children’s and teen literature. Representation is important, and each year, between 65-70% of the book creators we bring into classrooms are authors and illustrators of color.

    Publishers and their authors/illustrators often add an AOB event onto a DC tour so that the publisher incurs very little added expense. In addition to increased author and illustrator visibility, AOB book purchases lead to increased sales. However, publisher donations are always welcome.

    The following authors and illustrators joined AOB in the 2022-23 school year.


    A.S. King



    Adriana Bergstrom



    Aixa Pérez-Prado



    Alan Gratz



    Alexa Laurel Patrick



    Alexis Romay



    Ali Kamanda



    Alina Chau



    Alison Goldberg



    Alison Green Myers



    Andrea Menotti



    Andrea Rogers



    Angeline Boulley



    April Harrison



    Brent Schoonover



    C.C. Harrington



    Carole Boston Weatherford



    Carole Lindstrom



    Caroline Brewer



    Caron Levis



    Chad Sell



    Chana Stiefel



    Christian Robinson



    Christina Soontornvat



    Christy Hale



    Claribel Ortega



    Costantia Manoli



    Cozbi A. Cabrera



    Dan Gemeinhart



    Daniel Bernstrom



    David Barclay Moore



    David LaRochelle



    David Obuchowski



    Debbi Michiko Florence



    Des Cooper



    Elizabeth-Irene Baitie



    Emeline Lee



    Erica Perl






    Faith Erin Hicks



    Felicia Hoshino



    Frantzy Luzincourt



    Gaia Cornwall



    Gale Galligan



    Harold Green III



    Heather McGhee



    Heather Montgomery



    Hena Khan



    Ibtihaj Muhammad



    Isabel Roxas



    Ishita Jain



    Jack Wong



    Jacqueline Woodson



    Jamar Nicholas



    James Ponti



    James Smith



    Jane Park



    Jeanette Bradley



    Jerdine Nolen



    Jerry Craft



    John Parra



    Jonathan Hill



    Jonathan Roth



    Jorge Redmond



    Joy Jones



    Juana Medina



    Julia Kuo



    June Smalls



    Justin Reynolds



    Karina González



    Katherine Applegate



    Katherine Marsh



    Katie Yamasaki



    Katie Zhao



    Keila Dawson



    Kelly McWilliams



    Ken Daley



    Kim Taylor



    Krystal Quiles



    Kwame Mbalia



    Lamar Giles



    Laura Freeman



    Laura Gehl



    Lauren Castillo



    Linda Sarsour



    Lindsay Metcalf



    Liza Wiemer



    Lulu Delacre



    Lydia Lukidis



    M.T. Anderson



    Mac Barnett



    María Teresa Santiago Álvarez



    Marilyn Nelson



    Mary Quattlebaum



    Meg Medina



    Melina Bellows



    Michael Long



    Michelle Edwards



    Mika Song



    Mike Curato



    Misa Sugiura



    Naaz Khan



    Nathan Hale



    Nick Brooks



    Nick Bruel



    Ofosu Jones-Quartey



    Patricia Park



    Paula Shelton



    Raakhee Mirchandani



    Rose Bousamra






    Saadia Faruqi



    Sadé Smith



    Safia Elhillo



    Samantha Berger



    Sara Shepard



    Sarah Pedry



    Shadra Strickland



    Sherri Duskey Rinker



    Shreya Gupta



    Sue Fliess



    Suma Subramaniam



    Susan Katz



    Susan Stockdale



    Susan Verde



    Susie Jaramillo



    Sylvia Liu



    Tami Charles



    Terry Catasús Jennings



    Tiffany D. Jackson



    Tom Angleberger



    Tommy Greenwald



    Traci Sorell



    Useni Perkins



    Vashti Harrison



    Wendy Shang



    Winsome Bingham



    Yancey Labat



    Ying-Hwa Hu



    Yohuru Williams



    Young Vo



    Ysaÿe Barnwell


    An Open Book Foundation depends on the generosity of donors of all types. We gratefully accept donations of any size.
    An Open Book Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

    Jarrett Krosoczka • Hey, Kiddo • Theodore Roosevelt High School


      Your contribution will have a direct, meaningful impact on the literacy of a child. Whether you donate $30 to purchase beautiful new hardcover books for 3 PreK students, $100 to cover the cost of a set of books for the school library, or $1,000 to fund books for an entire grade level, you donation furthers the number of students we can reach.

      Catalogue for Philanthropy Certification 2021/2022Since 2016, An Open Book Foundation has been recognized by The Catalog for Philanthropy as “one of the best small charities in the Greater Washington region.”

      To donate by check, mail your donation to:
      An Open Book Foundation
      508 Kennedy St. NW, Suite 309
      Washington, D.C. 20011

      To donate stock, please follow these instructions

      To donate online, visit our donation page


      Legacy Gifts to An Open Book Foundation

      Your donations today make a difference in the lives of the students we serve by providing funding for our current in-class programming and book purchases. The sustainability of An Open Book Foundation (“AOB”) for future DC-area students is equally important to us.

      To that end, we gratefully accept donations to help us grow and strengthen the organization for the future, to ensure that the work of AOB will continue to make a significant mark on the children we serve by nurturing a lifelong love of reading. You can amplify your impact by including An Open Book Foundation in your estate planning.

      For more information on Planned Giving options, please review our Planned Giving documentation and contact our Development and Communications Director for more questions. All requests will remain confidential.

      Support from corporate and foundation donors is critical to the ongoing success of An Open Book. Our programs support equitable access to literacy, arts and humanities programs for students in low-income communities from early childhood through high school. While all of our events promote literacy, they also address specific curricular goals including ELL, S.T.E.M., Common Core, and fine arts.

      Given the variety and number of An Open Book events, we are happy to match an event(s) with your philanthropic goals. If your staff is interested in seeing the work we do, contact us about attending an event by sending an email to [email protected].

      An Open Book’s funding sources include grants from local government, corporate and family foundations, public charities, and individual donors. 

      BookplatesAn Open Book Bookplate
      AOB places a printed bookplate label in every book a student receives. For individual, corporate and foundation donations of $5,000 or more, An Open Book will create custom bookplates with your name or logo to include in the books you’ve helped support.


      Author Book Signing

      Meg Medina • Merci Suárez Changes Gears • Takoma Education Campus


      An Open Book was founded in 2010 by former children’s booksellers Dara La Porte and Heidi Powell. After years of hosting author events for and recommending books to young neighborhood customers, they continued to struggle with the fact that the vast majority of local students were unable to attend the store’s author events or purchase the books.

      After receiving unanimous encouragement from teachers, librarians, authors, illustrators and publishers Dara and Heidi used that positive energy to create An Open Book and begin to take authors into qualifying schools. By the end of 2011, they had hosted 11 events and given away more than 1,000 books to students and libraries.


      Portrait of Carolyn Vinson BouCarolyn Vinson Bou
      Carolyn Vinson Bou is Counsel in the Tax and Wealth Planning Group at Venable LLP, specializing in estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax planning and wealth preservation strategies. Carolyn has chaired planned giving committees at the Washington National Cathedral and the National Cathedral School (“NCS”), is a former board member at NCS and also co-chaired its last capital campaign. A mother of three, Carolyn is passionate about improving literacy in the District of Columbia.


      Portrait of Michelle EdwardsMichelle Edwards, EdD
      Michelle Edwards is a native Chicagoan who found her way to Live It Learn It by serving as the principal of Orr Elementary for almost a decade.  Michelle has also served on the board of Live It Learn It for over five years. She received a B.S. in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University and Master’s degrees from Loyola University Chicago and Trinity University, Washington, DC.  Michelle participated in New Leaders, Inc. as a resident principal during its inaugural year in Washington DC and 10 years later served as the Director of the Emerging Leaders Program. She recently earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Management from the University of Pennsylvania.


      Portrait of Hope HerrodHope Harrod
      Hope Harrod has been a 4th and 5th grade teacher in DC Public Schools for 15 years. She has a Master’s in Education from Boston College. In the 2012-13 school year, she received DC’s highest teaching honors, the Excellence in Teaching Award and Teacher of the Year. She currently serves on the boards of An Open Book Foundation and Live it Learn it, a non-profit, also in DC. She is also a trustee at Kenyon College.


      Portrait of Deborah LittDeborah Litt, PhD
      Deborah Litt is an independent consultant providing professional development in literacy instruction.  In 2016 she retired from Trinity University in Washington, DC after teaching there for more than thirteen years. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Reading) from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2003. Prior to that she worked for nine years as a Reading Specialist in Title 1 schools in Prince George’s County, MD.


      Portrait of Deep MasterDeep Master
      As a tax manager at the Han Group, Deep Master helps run the non-profit practice at his firm. Deep has expertise working with non-profit organizations such as hospitals, healthcare organizations, public charities, private foundations, social welfare organizations, trade associations, private schools, and affordable housing organizations. Deep has taught courses related to Form 990 compliance, lobbying, and compensation issues for tax-exempt organizations. Deep has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Taxation, both from American University where he also competed on the Division 1 varsity swim team. Deep has served as a volunteer for Mission for Vision Foundation USA and is currently a champion board member at Pool and Hot Tub Alliance.


      Portrait of Drew AdesDrew Ades
      Drew is a senior advisor to RMI’s Climate-Aligned Finance Program and the Carbon-Free Buildings Program, where he uses his extensive real estate, finance, and executive experience to help RMI create and equitable, just, and climate-aligned real estate finance industry and decarbonize the building stock.

      Prior to joining RMI, Drew was part of the Leadership team of the Multifamily Lending Platform at Capitol One. Drew was also the founding president and CEO of the Housing Partnership Equity Trust (HPET), a private REIT focused on the acquisition and preservation of affordable and workforce housing properties. He previously served as co-president of CAM LLC, a wholly owned real estate operating company subsidiary of Fannie Mae. Prior to this, Drew served in various management positions within Fannie Mae’s multifamily business and was the visionary behind the creation of Fannie Mae’s Multifamily Green Lending Program. He holds a BA from Williams College and an MBA from UC, Berkeley.


      Portrait of Deb ShapiroDeb Shapiro
      A former journalist and bookseller with an MA in children’s literature, Deb Shapiro worked for more than twelve years in book publishing, creating and executing publicity and marketing campaigns for publishing houses large and small before launching her own company in 2011. She is also an instructor at the Columbia School of Journalism’s graduate publishing course, and an active volunteer with several literacy organizations. For more than a decade she traveled extensively on book tours, fostering relationships with booksellers, educators, and media throughout the country and developing a broad understanding of what readers of all ages respond to and are interested in. She lives in Washington, DC with her daughter.


      Portrait of Christopher StewartChristopher A. Stewart
      Christopher A. Stewart is a native Washingtonian and an advocate for youth, education, and people experiencing homelessness. Christopher is the high school librarian at Columbia Heights Education Campus. His extensive volunteer experience includes serving as treasurer of the Washington Teachers Union and working in Ethiopia and Haiti, where he created a curriculum for children and helped build a library in a tent city. Christopher holds master’s degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary in divinity and theological studies with concentrations in poverty intervention/prevention and juvenile justice reform, and a Master in Library and Information Science with a focus in law from The Catholic University. Christopher’s mission is to promote literacy, end world poverty, and empower all to seek peace and love. He lives in the DMV with his partner and three children.


      Portrait of Heidi PowellHeidi W. Powell • Executive Director
      Before joining An Open Book full time in 2017, Heidi managed the children and teens department at a large independent bookstore. Heidi participated on several American Booksellers Association panels on coordinating book fairs with local schools. Heidi has worked as a city planner at the national, state and local levels. She holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from UNC Chapel Hill, a B.A. from UC Berkeley, and enthusiastically recommends podcasts to anyone who will listen.


      Portrait of Jennifer Barnes EliotJennifer Barnes Eliot • Development and Communications Director
      Jennifer has worked in communications, development, and marketing in a wide array of not-for-profit and for-profit organizations in the US and internationally, including stints in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Istanbul and New Delhi. She has a B.A. in Public Communication from American University and looks for every opportunity to jump on a plane and explore.


      Portrait of Angela BrooksAngela Brooks • Development Coordinator
      Angela Brooks is a librarian with experience in both public and school libraries. She’s also worked in social services. A native Washingtonian, she holds a BA in Human Relations from Trinity Washington University and an MSLIS from Catholic University. Her favorite genres are poetry, fantasy, biography, & realistic-fiction and she enjoys reading (mostly graphic novels and fiction) with her children.


      Portrait of Naaz KahnNaaz Khan • Education Coordinator
      Naaz has worked in the field of education, refugee resettlement and more recently as a storyteller and bookseller at an independent bookstore. As a third culture kid, she feels connected to multiple places including India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kenya, and the United States. Her first children’s book, ROOM FOR EVERYONE, which is set in Zanzibar, will be published through Caitlyn Dlouhy Books. Aside from reading and writing, Naaz’s soul is nourished through nature, tinkering around with music, and hosting interfaith gatherings. She holds a Masters degree in Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College and a diploma in Refugee Studies from the American University in Cairo.


      Portrait of Hallem MartinHallem Martin • Office Assistant
      Hallem has previously worked for a real estate company and in library settings, including two positions at the Smithsonian Institute. Hallem attended Ivymount School in Rockville, MD. He describes himself as “easily approachable.”


      Portrait of Josarie MolinaJosarie Molina • Education Director
      Josarie has been serving children and families for over 20 years as an art teacher, museum educator, art historian, school librarian, school and family program coordinator, storyteller and stage performer. She has a passion for events that foster life-long learning. Josarie loves to spend summers with family in her native Puerto Rico. She has a B.A. in visual arts, an M.A. in art education, and continues learning and creating every day.


      Portrait of Kerri PooreKerri Poore • Program Director
      Prior to joining AOB, Kerri served as the director of publisher and author relations for First Book, a national nonprofit that provides new books to children in need. She also worked for 11 years in the Children and Teens Department at a large independent bookstore. Kerri has a Master’s degree from American University in international politics, has worked for the World Bank, the US State Department and lived in Madagascar for four years. She shares her home with her husband, son and their dog Waffles who hails from a small farm in Ithaca, NY.


      Portrait of Kathie WeinbergKathie Weinberg • Program Coordinator
      Kathie is the Co-Director of We Need Diverse Books Walter Award, an award created to honor Walter Dean Myers. She is a library consultant with the Library of Congress, and provides leadership for their Teen Board. An active member of the American Library Association, YALSA and ALsC Divisions, she has presented at annual conferences and served on several awards ceremonies. Kathie has a Masters in Library Science from Simmons College and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin.


      Portrait of Dara LaPorteDara D. La Porte • Founding Director, 2010-2023, Retired
      Before founding An Open Book, Dara was the manager of the children and teens department at a large independent bookstore. Dara served on the board of the Association of Booksellers for Children, was appointed to the American Booksellers Association’s Advisory Board, and participated on several national panels on young adult literature. Dara also taught middle school for 12 years.


      Whether you’d like to join our newsletter mailing list, sign up to have An Open Book visit your school, or would like to talk about a nonprofit partnership, we’d love to hear from you.


      An Open Book Foundation
      508 Kennedy St. NW, Suite 309
      Washington, D.C. 20011
      Phone: 202 686 7115


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      Use this form if you would like AOB to visit your school. We work with schools where 50% or more of their students qualify for the federal free and reduced meals program.
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