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MEET SHERRI CHESSEN

For Sherri, doing "kid stuff" has been part of her entire life. From her hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, and her days as a Brownie, a Girl Scout, camp counselor and in children's theater, to her career as a teacher on television's famed Romper Room, mother, grandmother, and now a children's book author, children have been the essence of her life.

Often an advocate for national causes, her participation was always with those that involved children. So it was that passion that led her in 1996 to try to address the growing problem of why we were losing so many of our children to gunfire.

In 1996, she and Dale Duncan Johnson created a company to address gun violence and their dedication produced a picture book, The Gorp's Gift. Almost instantly, Sheila Wellstone, late wife of late Senator Paul Wellstone (Minnesota), put Sherri together with Mary Lewis Grow who had just created the Student Pledge against Gun Violence. Then, Senators Bill Bradley (New Jersey) and Senator Wellstone spearheaded Senate Resolution 282 [S.Res.282, 104th Congress (1995-1996)] and the Pledge has been observed in schools each October ever since. More than 3 million students signed the pledge last year promising never to bring a gun to school or to solve a problem with violence.

Her second book, Gorp’s Dream, helps to instill in children a sense of fairness towards others, an understanding of tolerance and diversity, and a positive, loving lesson in how bullying can cause permanent, heartbreaking damage. Gorp’s Dream is now a part of the National Bullying Awareness Campaign established by the National Education Association.

Her next book is Gorp’s Secret. The story empowers children about sexual abuse - a very difficult subject - and will be published in February 2008.

Sherri graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in Communications. She is Mom to six children and Grandmom to eight. She currently resides in Ketchum, Idaho, and San Diego, California.

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