About The Author

Van White is a nationally recognized civil rights lawyer and educator. But, as many will tell you, Van's most important role is that of a father. His children are all grown now.  But, like many parents, he took the time to read bedtime stories to his children when they were younger.  

These bedtime stories (typically read at the end of a hectic day) not only allowed Van to form a bond with his children, but the stories and books which he read (and sometimes made up with the help of his children) effectively communicated the values and insights Van wished to share with his children.  

That's exactly what Van hopes that HEROES does for parents, grandparents, and others who are raising children in today's complex society. Indeed, he hopes HEROES gives parents and other responsible adults the opportunity to communicate and share what's important in life - in this instance the importance of being selfless and being heroic in big and small ways to the people around you.  

While Van has been blessed to have had the opportunity to dialogue about his legal and educational work at the national level (CNN, USA Today, Jet magazine, NPR Radio, Montel Williams Show, National Chair of the Council of Urban Boards of Education etc.), once again, Van understands that the most valuable and effective conversations about who are children are and what they can become, always take place closet to home.

 

Accordingly, in addition to maintaining an active federal and state civil rights law practice, Van serves as President of his local school board.   The District has the dubious distinction of serving has the third highest child poverty concentration rate in the United States - the highest in New York State.  "More than any place else in the country our children and students need opportunities to read books AND they need more heroes in their lives."

"In addition to needing heroes in their lives, our children also need to understand that they, themselves, must become heroes and role models in their communities."  Using Suess-like prose and colorful images, but never underestimating today's children's ability to understand "big words", Van uses HEROES to get all children to think critically about themselves as heroes - as selfless advocates for the rights and needs of others.  

As parents, and leaders, that really is our best hope for the future - a society made up of people who were taught, as children, to believe that they could and should be HEROES.

 

 

 

 

A page from "Ned and Fred" one of the illustration drawn by Van for a bedtime story that he created and read to his children.

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