School Visits

All programs can be customized to the appropriate grade level. Teachers guides aligned with the Common Core are available for some of Fern's books. Many of Fern’s programs fulfill state requirements to teach the Holocaust and moral education. 


Illinois Reads author Fern Schumer Chapman has a busy speaking schedule. She speaks on a variety of topics (see below) and some presentations can help your district meet the state mandate for Holocaust education. Other programs fit into units on Immigration, Health, or Ethics. Teacher’s Guides are available for all of her books.

New online presentations:

With schools transitioning to remote learning, Fern offers her various programs as Zoom events for individual classes at  reduced rates. Fern can accommodate as many as 20 classes on a Zoom call or she will happily serve an individual class and alter her presentations to meet students’ needs.

In the spotlight:

Timely presentation on issues of historical responsibility


As a consequence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, our nation is experiencing an unprecedented re-examination of our past. Americans are asking what and whom we ought to remember, honor, and memorialize. Young people have played an important role in this national dialogue.

By focusing on one German town’s wrenching reconsideration of its involvement in national crimes, Stumbling on History: An Art Project Compels a Small German Town to Face its Past serves as a springboard to discuss questions of historical responsibility, inspiring students to develop an energetic, empathetic sense of citizenship.

Inspiring presentation on student community-service projects



It’s amazing what young people can do! This presentation features how students changed lives through community-service projects – from obtaining pensions for former Negro Baseball League players to changing the name of a park from remembering a slave holder to honoring a black leader.

In addition, this presentation showcases the book, Like Finding My Twin, which documents how middle school students reunited two Holocaust refugees who hadn't seen each other in 72 years. Moved by the story of the friendship of two 12-year-olds who were traveling alone and became inseparable on the ship to America in 1938 (as captured in the book Is It Night or Day?), the students designed a class project to locate and reunite the two old friends. The Oprah Winfrey Network did a half-hour show on this remarkable reunion, and this presentation includes a clip from the show.

 ABC7-Chicago covered a recent FSC school visit. Here's the news story:

 Viking Middle School in Gurnee, IL used Three Stars in the Night Sky as an all-school reads selection. Here is the special website the school created about the program:

Other popular programs:

Edith’s Immigration Story - The childhood immigration story of the author's mother, an unaccompanied minor, who fled Nazi Germany in 1938 all by herself.

Understanding and Healing Family Trauma Students often don't understand how traumatic events in the family define their lives. This program is a primer on trauma for young people.

Fall Kick-off Assembly: Developing School Character and School Culture (based upon role models in Fern’s books)

Writers Workshop

Family Stories Workshop

Writing seminars for teachers

Most programs include a PowerPoint presentation and a brief video. We customize our programs to serve the needs of your school, and we are sensitive to your budget.



"A wonderful speaker for our students!"  ~ Kate Wolicki, Glenside Middle School, Glendale Heights, Illinois

"I have witnessed many author presentations, and I have never seen students so engaged." ~ Patricia Stacey, Thompson Middle School, St. Charles, Illinois

"Fern's ability to connect with students on poignant topic of identity, struggle, and perseverance makes her a can't-miss opportunity for your school."  ~ David Lopez, Morton High School, Cicero Illinois

"There were only a few dry eyes in the audience. Fern held everyone's attention -- from 10-year olds to the elderly." ~ Debbie Colodny, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyvillle, Illinois

Additional Programs

Adult and Parent/Child Book Clubs - Fern’s books have been popular with adult and parent child book clubs. She gives evening presentations to these groups.

Teacher In-service - Fern shares with teachers some of the many effective exercises she uses when teaching students how to write. She also conducts discussions with educators on teaching moral choices in the classroom.

Fern can tailor a program that fits your educational objectives. For schools with a limited budget, she offers SKYPE discussions with classes.


LENGTH OF PROGRAMS: Depending upon grade and type of presentation, from thirty to sixty minutes.

AUDIENCE SIZE: Fern will tailor her program to the grade and size of your audience. No limits on attendance for assemblies. Workshops work best with groups fewer than 50.

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Previous Visits

Fern Schumer Chapman has spoken at the following schools:

Peotone High School, Peotone, IL
Johnsburg Middle School, Johnsburg, IL
North Prairie Junior High School, Winthrop Harbor,
Edison Elementary School, Macomb, IL
VIT Elementary School, Table Grove, IL
Wheaton Warrenville South High School, Warrenville, IL
Hubble Middle School, Warrenville, IL
Jane Addams Junior High School, Schaumburg, IL
Vernon Hills High School, Vernon Hills, IL
Gompers Middle School, Joliet, IL
Unity Middle School, Cicero, IL
Northwood Middle School, Woodstock, IL
Westview Hills Middle School, Willowbrook, IL
Highlands Junior High School, LaGrange, IL
Algonquin Middle School, Des Plaines, IL

Park View Elementary School, Morton Grove, IL
Marquardt Middle School, Glendale Heights, IL
Bourbonnais Upper Grade Center, Bourbonnais, IL
Bradley Central Middle School, Bradley, IL
Manteno Middle School, Manteno, IL
Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, IL
Manchester Township Middle School, Manchester, NJ
Lake Forest Country Day School, Lake Forest, IL
Zion Central Middle School, Zion, IL
School of St. Mary, Lake Forest, IL
Jerling Junior High School, Orland Park, IL
Orland Junior High School, Orland Park, IL
Glenside Middle School, Glendale Heights IL
Tinley Park Junior High School, Tinley Park, IL
Woodland Middle School, Gurnee, IL

Gymnasium Gernheim, Germany
Schillerschule Gymnasium, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Prälat-Diehl-Schule Gymnasium Groß-Gerau, Germany
National Louis University, Skokie, IL
Albert-Einstein-Schule Schwalbach, Gymnasium, Germany
Big Hollow Middle School, Ingleside, IL
Central Middle School, Burlington, IL
Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL
Lincoln Middle School, Berwyn, IL
Shepherd Middle School, Ottawa, IL
Gavin South Junior High School, Ingleside, IL
Attea Middle School, Glenview, IL
Gower Middle School, Burr Ridge, IL
Fremont Middle School, Mundelein, IL
Kaneland Junior High School, Sugar Grove, IL

St. Scholastica School and St Joan of Arc School at St. Scholastica, Woodridge, IL
Morton West High School, Cicero, IL
Thompson Middle School, St. Charles, IL
Norton Middle School, Norton, MA (all-school reads program)
Madison Junior High School, Naperville, IL
Manchester Township High School, Manchester, NJ
Hardin High School, Hardin, TX
Hardin Junior High School, Hardin, TX
Tarkington High School, Cleveland, TX
Tarkington Middle School, Cleveland, TX
College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL
DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Northwood Junior High School, Highwood, IL
Elm School, Highland Park, IL
St. Valentine Catholic School, Redford, MI

Woods School, Lake Geneva, WI
Epiphany Cathedral School, Venice, FL
Waseca Junior High School, Waseca, MN (all-school reads program)
Highland Middle School, Libertyville, IL
Sonora Middle School, Sonora, TX
Fredericksburg Middle School, Fredericksburg, TX
Waterloo Middle School, Waterloo, WI
Weatherford ISD Ninth Grade Center, Weatherford, TX
Oak Lawn – Hometown Middle School, Oak Lawn, IL
Harvard Junior High School, Harvard, IL
Oak Prairie Middle School, Homer Glen, IL
Valencia Community College, Orlando, FL
Woodlands Academy, Lake Forest, IL
Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL
Newark Junior High School, Newark, CA

Deerfield High School, Deerfield, IL
Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL
The Haverford School for Boys, Haverford, PA
Downers Grove Elementary School, Downers Grove, IL
Highland Park High School, Highland Park, IL
Waubonsee College, Sugar Loaf, IL
Cedar Grove High School, Cedar Grove, WI
Naperville High School, Naperville, IL
Kennedy Junior High School, Naperville, IL
Matthews Junior High School, Wauconda, IL
Oswego High School, Oswego, IL
Traughber Junior High School, Oswego, IL
Marian Catholic High School, Woodstock, IL
Lake Bluff Middle School, Lake Bluff, IL
Butler Junior High School, Oak Brook, IL

A. C. Davis High School, Yakima, WA
Palos South Middle School, Palos Park, IL
Deerpath Middle School, Lake Forest, IL
Morton Freshman Center, Cicero, IL
Century Junior High School, Orland Park, IL

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