Last spring I enrolled in Dr. Sharon Craig's course "Teaching Informational and Argument/Opinion Writing with Children's Literature" at McDaniel for professional development. Dr. Craig gives teachers the opportunity to take the inquiry process to their students, so teachers and students learn together, becoming a writing community. The final assignment was to research a topic that we felt passionately about and draft an informational book for our students. I chose the Civil Rights Movement using Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C. as the setting. After reading, analyzing and evaluating as many secondary and primary resources as I could, I decided to request interviews to get help to understand questions left unanswered, so I wrote letters to the owners of Ben's Chili Bowl, Virginia, Nizam and Kamal Ali, as well as various civil rights leaders including Congressman John Lewis, Maya Angelou, Dr. Robert Moses and Councilman Marion Barry. I included letters to Bill Cosby who has championed the Ali's for years. I also wrote a letter to President and first lady Obama. I wrote dozens of letters. Even though some people did not respond, I could not give up. My goal was to develop a thorough understanding of the civil rights movement as well as request messages for our young people to help them use lessons from the past to guide their futures. Truthfully, I never expected a response from any of these incredibly busy people, so I was amazed by the generosity of those people who responded to my letters, giving me their time for interviews, such as Congressman Lewis. After receiving my letter, the White House called me early one morning, one week before the 50th Commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington, and invited me to attend the ceremony as a guest of the White House. I have never felt so proud and so humbled in the same moment and could not wait to share the news with students who gave me the courage to write the letters in the first place.