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About the AUTHOR and ILLUSTRATOR

Marilyn Perlyn - Author
Marilyn Perlyn, a graduate of Northwestern University, is a children’s author and the creator of The OCHO Project: Read for a Need. Marilyn’s three children were involved in service projects as youngsters and have each received local, state, and national recognition for their efforts to reach out and help others. It was after fourteen years of parenting that Marilyn learned a very valuable lesson from her six-year-old daughter, Amanda. Much to her surprise, she realized that children, no matter what their age, have enough understanding, sensitivity, and capability of making a real difference in the world. The results of her own children’s efforts have been remarkable, both externally to the people they have helped and internally to the development of their own self-esteem. Over the years, many children and parents have sought Marilyn’s advice for suggestions and counsel on how to get involved in helping others.

marilyn perlyn

Her inspiration for her book, The Biggest and Brightest Light: The Magic of Helping Others, is rooted in her strong belief, based on many years of personal experience, that any properly guided child who understands that they could make a difference, and should make a difference, would make a difference. For every child who comes to this realization, our world becomes a better place. Marilyn’s book (grades K-5) is a true story that inspires children to want to help others.

Marilyn and her family are recipients of a national award from the Daily Points of Light Foundation, in addition to numerous other awards. Her children have appeared on Oprah and have been written about in ten books. Marilyn is a frequent speaker at character education conferences and speaks on service-learning and character education. She is on the Superintendent’s Service-Learning District Advisory Council for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Marilyn and her husband reside in Delray Beach, Florida.

You can read more about Marilyn in 12 Simple Secrets Real Moms Know by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Marilyn can be contacted at mperlyn@biggestandbrightestlight.com. She is here for each of you to help make The OCHO Project successful for your students, school, and community! If you would like to learn more about a Perlyn family project visit www.steppnupshoes.org. Read more about the effectiveness of Marilyn's programs [Testimonials on Marilyn Perlyn's programs]

amanda perlyn

Amanda Perlyn - Illustrator and inspiration for the book
Amanda Perlyn has been illustrating and painting for many years. Her vivid recollection of herself and her teacher in first grade have come to life in her first book of illustrations. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including Seventeen/Cover Girl Volunteerism Award, JCPenney Golden Rule Award, Allstate Good Hands Volunteer Award, and the Voice of Democracy Award. Her personal story has been published in The Courage to Give by Jackie Waldman.

Amanda received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University. She currently works and resides in Chicago, Illinois.

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Amanda Perlyn

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