The Institute for Positive Living's Open Book Program

Institute for Positive Living
IPL logo
the mentor program of the Institute for Positive Living.

IPL Mission
The Mission of the Institute for Positive Living is to promote the quality of community life with special focus on helping families solve educational, social and economic problems.
IPL History

Since 1999, the Institute for Positive Living has had the success of its Open Book Program as its major focus.  Open Book is a multi-faceted after-school program for young adolescents in which participants are engaged in activities that encourage the development of reading, writing and critical thinking skills.

Students participate in story analysis; musical and dramatic story interpretation and presentation; author visits, lectures and book signings; field trips and more.  The program is implemented in Chicago Public Schools and community sites.

IPL's Open Book Program hasbeen marked by incredible growth on several fronts – more school participation, expanded programming, increased funding streams and a continued cultivation of relationships. 

2006 provided a watershed moment for Open Book.  The program published its first book, an anthology of original works written by Open Book youth entitled “See It Like Me!”  Edited by Randall Horton and Annette E. Banks, the project gave youth the opportunity to become published authors and to see the publishing process from start to finish.  It also provided the students an opportunity to express themselves through literary channels.

“Writing inspires me to let out how I feel,” said Beethoven Elementary student Bryanna Washington, whose poem “Healing Power” is included in the book, “It feels good to be published,” she said.

“See It Like Me!” is available for sale through the Institute for Positive Living.

In 2007, the Institute for Positive Living expanded its scope to include issues that impact the community.  The organization developed conflict resolution and violence prevention workshops to address the escalation of violence in communities and schools.  Students worked with facilitators to address root causes, brainstorm alternatives, discuss personal responsibility and plan for a positive future.

The Institute for Positive Living continues to enjoy funding through civic, corporate and philanthropic communities.  The organization receives support from Federal, state and local governmental entities.

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IPL Programs

Book Club Mentoring
This is a 24-week after school program designed to:

  • Increase the reading, writing and critical thinking skills of participating youth.
  • Provide mentors for participating youth.
  • Create 24 weeks of journal entries from participating youth.
  • Create publishable essays or poetry from this project from participating youth and mentors.

Entrepreneurship Training
The Institute for Positive Living’s entrepreneurship project is year long project divided into
k modules designed to:

  • Provide training to youth around core areas of financial literacy, leadership and entrepreneurship.
  • Provide an opportunity for youth to learn how to convert skills into making money.


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