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Harris County Department of Education
News Release
Monday, August 08, 2011


‘Freedom Writers’ bestseller author, educator Erin Gruwell pumps educators
with inspirational fuel at HCDE on Aug. 30


Educator Erin Gruwell whose teaching experiences inspired the movie “Freedom Writers” speaks to educators on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at Harris County Department of Education, 6300 Irvington Blvd.   The keynote address, book signing and workshop are sponsored by the Cooperative for After-School Enrichment, a division of HCDE. 

The daylong event begins with a keynote address from Gruwell from 9-10:30 a.m.  A book signing opportunity for her New York Times bestseller called “Freedom Writers Diary” will be held from 10:30-11:30 a.m.  An afternoon educator workshop entitled “Freedom Writers Method” is scheduled from 1-2:30 p.m.  Cost for the keynote address is $10; the workshop is $15. To register, access or call (713) 696-1330 for more information

Gruwell’s book led to the Paramount Pictures feature film “Freedom Writers” in 2007 starring two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank as Gruwell. 

As an educator and presenter, Gruwell earned national, award-winning repute for her steadfast commitment to the future of children and education.  The educator’s story tracks a young, idealistic, high school English teacher who encourages her at-risk students to abandon drugs, pregnancy and violence to become college students, published writers and citizens for change.

“Erin Gruwell’s inspirational stories about her students give after-school providers key strategies on how to be a positive difference in the lives of Harris County youth,” CASE director Lisa Caruthers said.  “During our trying economy, educators must continue to focus on the importance of out-of-school time”. 

CASE builds partnerships and provides resources, leadership and training that support quality after-school programs in Harris County. 

“After-school time provides students with a safe environment, reduces criminal and delinquent behaviors, promotes social-emotional learning, improves academic performance and encourages college and career readiness,” Caruthers said.

About CASE: The Cooperative for After-School Enrichment (CASE) is a division of Harris County Department of Education.  CASE provides after-school programs in over 70 after-school sites in Harris County for about 12,000 students in elementary through high school in greater Harris County. The CASE mission is to strengthen, support and sustain after-school programs. Formed in 1999 by HCDE, the CASE vision is to ensure that every child in Harris County has access to a quality after-school program.  

About HCDE: Harris County Department of Education provides education services to the general public and 26 school districts throughout Harris County and beyond. Services include adult education, programs to promote safe schools, after-school programs, therapy services, professional development for educators, special schools, alternative certification for principals and teachers, and Head Start programs.  We offer purchasing procurement, grant development, program research and evaluation, records management, and school finance support.  Since 1889, our services continue to evolve to meet the needs of our education public. Visit us at

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