Meet the Team

Our team brings a wealth of passion, youth and academia experience from some of the most distinguished schools, halls of ivy, organizations, and establishments. We each share a unified mission, to serve children and help develop their love for reading and literature.

JUREMA GORHAM

Burst into Books

Creator, Founder, & Executive Director

Jurema Gorham affirms Burst Into Books as an organization that is rooted in instilling our children with the essential tools to grow academically. A life-long learner, Jurema has taught professionally since 2008, working with grades K-12. Seeking inspiration along her professional career, Jurema stays in student mode all the time. When she was pregnant with her son, she yearned for advancement in her career, so Jurema decided to pursue her first Masters’ degree in Educational Leadership. She moved from elementary education to high school, teaching at the freshman level. She noticed many students had learning disabilities. Students were supposed to be at a certain level, but many were not. Here she realized the importance of differentiation learning, so in 2016, inspired by the students who didn’t receive individual support, she went back to school to earn a second Masters’ degree in Differentiated Instruction. Within the last couple years, Jurema moved out of the classroom, coaching teachers and helping them to reach the needs of each individual student. Currently pursuing her Phd, Jurema’s mission is to help focus on the school system and attack many of the loopholes such as standardized testing and other factors why students aren’t mastering tests, excelling and more. Jurema’s experience with navigating relationships between parents, students, administrators, teachers and communities have provided her with a clear advantage of helping address the educational and systemic issues while creating impact outside of the classroom.

 

 As she enters her 13th year as an educator, she understands the power of being a strong reader. Not only does reading opens a new world to your child, they will strengthen their ability to excel in all of their subjects in school. As she continues to push her son, Trey to explore the world through reading, Jurema’s personal mission is to take along as many children as possible on the same adventure. Jurema is committed to creating a safe space for all children to engage with text and dialogue which is remarkably needed in the community.

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JERILYN JOHNSON

Burst Into Books

Group 1 Book Club Leader (6 Months - 3 Years Old)

Jerilynn Johnson is a 37 year old mother of two from the south side of Chicago. She has two beautiful daughters ages 12 years old and 1 year old who are also members of Burst Into Books. Jerilynn is excited to join the team as Book Club instructor for the 6 month - 3 year old group. She has been an educator for 12 years starting as a preschool teacher assistant. Currently, she is a Chicago Public Schools Counselor. Jerilynn’s vision is to make reading fun and exciting to the earliest of ages. She’s looking forward to building new relationships and working with the babies!

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SIGOURNEY STARKS

Burst Into Books

Group 2 Book Club Leader (4 - 7 Years Old)

Sigourney Starks  was born and raised on Chicago’s south side. Sigourney has been in the education field for ten years. She’s taught kindergarten up to high school. In addition to being a Learning Specialist, she’s most proud about being a mother. She has an amazing, cool, and intelligent 11 year old son who is her everything. Sigourney believes the purpose of life is to live a life of intention and in doing so she wants to ensure love, laughter, and learning are on the agenda each day. Today a reader, tomorrow a leader! 

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NATALIE MCKNIGHT

Burst Into Books

Group 3 Book Club Leader (8-10 Years Old)

Natalie McKnight is excited to be working with our children to further their knowledge and familiarity with literature and words in both fiction and non-fiction stories. As a 1st and 2nd grade teacher, Natalie sees first hand the importance of being a well rounded fluent reader. Natalie looks forward to playing games, tackling story structure and comprehension with the 8, 9 and 10 year olds. In addition, Natalie’s experience extends to high school with spoken word and poetry workshops and theater as well. She ready for readers and hopes they are ready for the ride they will take through pages, phrases and the written word.

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dANA POSLEY

Burst Into Books

Group 4 Book Club Leader (11-13 Years Old)

Dana Posley is a Reading Guide for 11-13 year olds. She was born and raised on the west side of Chicago. She is a wife and mother of 4 beautiful children, two recent college graduates, a college sophomore and a seventh grader.  Dana’s profession is Clinical Research Coordinator at Northwestern University. As Reading Guide, Dana combines her love for books with her desire to encourage and empower every reader to expand their minds and outlook on life. 

NATALIE BONNER

Burst Into Books

Group 5 Book Club Leader (High School Young Ladies)

Natalie Bonner is the founder and president of Talented Tenth Social Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization. She is a member of the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce and the Aurora Youth Council. Natalie is also a board member for Cambridge Classical Academy in Chicago, IL.  Natalie is a 2019 Daily Herald Entrepreneur Excellence Award recipient, as well as SHE Rocks It Award Recipient. Natalie has published five children’s books under the pen name, Marie Sunshine.

Her book, Little Brown Readers present Our ABC’s: Famous Women of Color in History was included in the 2018-2019 Author Directory for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Natalie is a 2020 Delta Author on Tour with her book, Little Brown Readers present The Divine Nine.

All of Natalie’s books feature children in her world. The main characters are Lauren and Nathan. Lauren is Natalie’s Goddaughter and Nathan is Natalie’s son. Natalie recognizes the importance of positive representation in media; which is why her books are filled with amazing people of color.

For more information about her books, visit www.mariesunshine.com

Books are available for purchase through www.mariesunshine.com or Amazon.com

QUINTON ARTHUR

Burst Into Books

Group 5 Book Club Leader (High School Young Men)

Quinton R. Arthur is a content strategist with a focus on diverse storytelling. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University, and his Master of Science in Journalism from Roosevelt University. With a spirit of entrepreneurship, he started QRamone Media, a multi-media content producing company, specializing in helping individuals, small businesses and nonprofits get quality content. After graduation, Quinton worked in the education realm serving diverse learners on both the high school and middle school levels. In 2018, he joined the team at the Chicago Urban League as the External Affairs Manager. He also is a General Assignment Reporter for the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle. 

 

In his spare time, he serves as a mentor and Membership Engagement Chair for 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. He is also a member of the Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. He started a brand called Man of Substance, which makes content that educates, inspires and empowers Black Men to be their best selves. Quinton is an avid reader and connoisseur of nerd culture. 

ADDRESS:

11001 S. Michigan Avenue

Chicago, Illinois 60628

© 2019 - 2020. All rights reserved, Burst Into Books. 

Impacting the lives of children and families through literacy

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