April 9, 2019
Endorsement for Rob Shindler’s Hot Dogs & Hamburgers: Unlocking Life’s Potential by Inspiring Literacy at Any Age

I came to know Rob Shindler after Hot Dogs & Hamburgers was a finalist for our Common Read program this past year. Hot Dogs & Hamburgers offers an inspirational message not just about Rob and the lessons he learned teaching reading to his son Oliver, but about the countless lives changed by Rob’s service at the Literacy Center of Chicago working with adults across a wide range of ages. Despite the title finishing in a close second, I could not pass up the opportunity to work with Rob further and to share his story with our campus. Rob was incredibly flexible in his planning and his logistical needs were simple and reasonable. Rob is a dream to work with – he is timely, focused, wonderfully personable, and always professional.

The messages in Hot Dogs & Hamburgers dovetailed perfectly with our Education Fellows program, and Rob spent a full day last month speaking to future teachers and faculty in our Stout School of Education. I was able to join one of Rob’s sessions and enjoyed it immensely. His powerful story was delivered in an engaging format (far from a lecture) and the students hung on every word. He took time to answer individual questions, sign books, and take selfies with the students.This book and Rob’s visit are ideal for education majors and professionals who work with individuals with learning differences, but the take-aways are not just limited to folks who work with special populations. Hot Dogs & Hamburgers encourages us to think about the characteristics that make us all unique while inspiring every individual to make a positive difference in their community.
Scott W. Wojciechowski
Assistant Vice President for Student Life

This book and Rob’s visit are ideal for education majors and professionals who work with individuals with learning differences, but the take-aways are not just limited to folks who work with special populations. Hot Dogs & Hamburgers encourages us to think about the characteristics that make us all unique while inspiring every individual to make a positive difference in their community.
Scott W. Wojciechowski
Assistant Vice President for Student Life

April 10, 2019
To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to recommend Rob Shindler as a speaker. Listening to Rob present it is easy to see how passionate Rob is about his work with his students at the Literacy Center of Chicago. On March 29, 2019 he spoke at High Point University to students in our School of Education. His message was inspiring to the students and important for them to hear. During his talk he made sure he was connecting with the audience. Many of the students commented that attending the talk helped them think of how the parent’s may feel when learning of their child’s learning difficulties.

Beyond discussing his child’s challenges Rob spoke about his experience as a tutor at the Literacy Center of Chicago. Many of the students in the audience reflected that they had not thought about adult illiteracy and the challenges that a person would go through. Rob’s presentation was able to put a human side to the statistics that he gave. Rob presented in a way in which the students were engaged and felt comfortable asking questions. I believe that meeting Rob and listening to him present his story helped our student as they prepare to become educators.

I believe that Rob would be a great and inspiring speaker for your organization. If you have questions please feel free to contact me.

Rosemarie Monahan Tarara MEd, Coordinator, EDU Fellows
Instructor of Health Education High Point University

Director of Disability Services, Lackawanna College

Good Afternoon,

I am the Chair of the committee who chooses our LC Reads book each year for Lackawanna College.

For the academic school year 2017-2018, we chose Rob Shindler’s book Hot Dogs and Hamburgers: Unlocking Life’s Potential by Inspiring Literacy at Any Age as our college-wide read.

We loved having Rob visit our college!  He was super enthusiastic, passionate, professional, and took the extra time to conduct a tutoring workshop for our faculty!

I would highly recommend Rob to visit your college and for your college to read his book!

Christine Kiehart
Assistant Professor
Director of Disability Services

Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois

Rob Shindler, author and speaker, gave a heartwarming and humorous presentation at our annual Professionals in Learning Disabilities & Special Education dinner a number of years ago.

I had contacted him after seeing him in a WGN TV “Chicago’s Very Own” segment, shortly after his book Hot Dogs & Hamburgers was published, and was very impressed with both his volunteer work for the Literacy Center of Chicago and with his warmth and energy seen in the broadcast. As it turned out, he did not disappoint–so much so that I recommended him as a speaker for a statewide special education convention (much larger and wider audience), where I heard him, as well.

I cannot say enough nice things about Rob: he was punctual and generous (at our PLDSE dinner–with a full house of forty–he gave (i.e., free) each attendee an autographed copy of his book.)

Rob is an excellent and informative speaker, and–I guarantee–he will engage his audience with his warmth and his great sense of humor. I highly recommend him.

Should you wish/need to contact me, my mobile number is (847) 877-6678. 
My e-mail address is:  chrubenstein36@gmail.com

Chaya Rubenstein,
Board Member
Professionals in Learning Disabilities and Special Education
Region II Director
Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois 

Adult Learning Alliance of Arkansas

Rob Shindler is an energetic, entertaining, and passionate speaker and story teller. He was the keynote speaker at our annual adult literacy luncheon and had us laughing and crying as he shared his adventure in tutoring adult learners. We need more people like Rob sharing their stories of helping adult learners and spreading the word about adult literacy. ~ Nancy Leonhardt, Executive Director, Adult Learning Alliance, Arkansas

Nancy Leonhardt, Executive Director
Adult Learning Alliance of Arkansas
(formerly Arkansas Literacy Councils)
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-907-2490 (office)
501-425-2751 (cell)

United Church of Christ

In 2015 the United Church of Christ 30th General Synod’s Literacy Project invited Mr. Shindler to do a presentation about his book “Hotdogs and Hamburgers”.  As the event planner I wish that every person that we invite to speak were as easy to work with as Rob was! His easy going nature, self-reliance and engaging personality made my job easy!  He engaged his audience and energized the denomination to fully engage in an all-church book read!               

– Valerie J Smith, Director of Event Management
United Church of Christ.

Pilgrim Faith Church


Rob was invited to speak at our church after we read his book. I didn’t expect him to accept, let alone spend an entire Sunday morning and early afternoon with us. He exceeded all of our expectations. Rob spoke movingly and sincerely about his work helping adults learn to read, and tailored his speech to the wide variety of people and ages in the audience. He was prepared with wonderful anecdotes and shared very openly the ups and downs of the experience. After the service, he spoke briefly at a reception and then took questions from church members and visitors of all ages. In fact, he ate lunch with our teen group and talked to them about their own experiences with fellow students who struggle with literacy. Within a few months, a few of our church members became trained as literacy tutors because they were so inspired by Rob’s visit. Rob’s visit with us is one of our church’s fondest memories, thanks in large part to his humor, his passion and his ability to inspire others to lend a hand where they can. –

Jacqui Cook
Pilgrim Faith Church
Oak Lawn, Illinois

San José State University

San Jose State University letterhead

March 4, 2019
To Whom It May Concern:
The Campus Reading Program at San José State University engages our
campus community (students, faculty and employees) in reading the same book. We look for a book that is likely to be of wide interest and provides a range of topics for discussions. We look for books that lead readers to think about at a topic in a different way than they might have before reading the book.

During the 2017-2018 Academic Year SJSU selected Hot Dogs and Hamburgers: Unlocking Life’s Potential by Inspiring Literacy at Any Age as the campus reading book. As one element of the co-curricular programming we invited Mr. Shindler to campus on two occasions, once in person and once via video conference. On October 26, 2017 Mr. Shindler met in the auditorium with students, faculty and staff to discuss his journey as laid out in his book and to urge the SJSU community to get involved with helping adult learners with reading skills. Mr. Shindler is a lively story teller and very passionate about the need to volunteer to help others who are less fortunate. We invited Partners in Reading, which has a program through the San José Public Library, to have an information table to help students learn about this amazing local volunteer opportunity. The event was well attended and well received. We followed the talk with the author signing their books and had a very long line that took about one hour to complete. On the same day, Mr. Shindler meet several classes that were using the book as part of their syllabus. I was not at those events, but I understand that there was very rich and engaging conversation.

Then on March 13, 2017 we hosted a video conference titled “Connecting with Rob.” This was an opportunity for students and staff to follow up on the October 26 visit and discuss any questions they might have about how to get involved in volunteer activities and challenges they might face. This was lightly attended due to poor advertising.

Both days were great opportunities for our students to learn about literacy, volunteering, and giving back from a person who is very passionate about these values. The students responded by hosting a book drive in which they collected books for local third graders.

Thalia Anagnos
Associate Vice President, Undergraduate Education

Graduate and Undergraduate Programs (GUP)
Academic Scheduling ‐ Accreditation ‐ Articulation – Assessment – Campus Reading Program ‐ Catalog & Curriculum – E‐Advising Programming – Graduate Studies – Program Planning ‐ Transfer Credit Programming – Undergraduate Studies

Wisconsin Literacy logo

March 7, 2019
Dear Rob,

I am writing this letter of recommendation for your future speaking engagements on your book, Hot Dogs and Hamburgers: Unlocking Life’s Potential by Inspiring Literacy at Any Age.

Wisconsin Literacy, Inc., a coalition of 75 community-based organizations, very much enjoyed and benefitted from your many presentations at our different member agencies across the state during your 2015 “Tour.” Your story represents the authentic stories of not just the students who were lucky enough to be under your tutelage, but it clearly outlines the challenges, the benefits, the ambiance and relationships that develop inside community-based literacy organizations.

Your passion, love and respect for the adults you teach at Literacy Chicago is quite evident and it was shared with the program directors, tutors and students you met at our programs. It was a pleasure to watch how your enthusiasm for life-changing learning lifted those in the audience. For those who have never encountered adults who are learning to read for the first time, your story is an eye-opening one that demonstrates how one good act of kindness, whether intended for family or stranger, can lead to so many other beautiful consequences.

Thanks for what you do to improve the lives of those around you! Literacy changes lives and you are a great agent for change!
All the best,

Michele Erikson
Executive Director
Wisconsin Literacy
Wisconsin Health Literacy

211 S. Paterson St., Suite 260 I Madison, WI 53703 ( 608)257-1655 info@wisconsinliteracy.org

Literacy Pittsburgh logo

To whom it may concern:

Literacy Pittsburgh was pleased to host Rob Shindler as guest speaker of our Leaders for Literacy Luncheon. This is our agency’s largest fundraising and awareness event. We seek to engage speakers who both inspire and embody our mission of better lives through learning. Rob fit this bill perfectly.

Rob was extremely personable and easy to work with. He shared the touching story of his son’s learning challenges and how this experience inspired his entire family to become advocates for adults with literacy challenges. His passion for learning and for volunteering inspired our audience of business people, community leaders, tutors, students and staff.

It was a privilege to work with Rob on our Leaders for Literacy Luncheon and I’m pleased to recommend him as a speaker and tireless advocate for education.

Maria J. Polinsky
Director of Marketing and Communications

Gannon University Reads logo

On October 25, 2018, as part of the Gannon University First Year Seminar mission of providing inspirational common reads for all incoming students, we were pleased and honored to have ROBERT SHINDLER present his experience teaching reading with Literacy Chicago, a program for adults who are unable to read. Rob shared his energy and skills with small groups of students throughout the day and during a University –wide performance that evening. He was an absolute joy to work with and was kind and engaging with everyone who met him. Our experience with Rob Shindler was nothing short of excellent as a speaker/presenter, but even more so as an incredible human being. We highly recommend him and his book, Hot Dogs and Hamburger. Because of our reading the book and hearing his story, our students have been inspired by him to volunteer in many different programs in the area.

Melinda Holliday 
Coordinator, First Year Seminar
Adjunct, Education and English Departments
Supervisor, ELA Student Teachers