About Us

Joan and Nonie have worked together for a decade, helping schools, districts, and state level educators improve children’s reading skills. But they know that families also need support to help their children reach their reading potentials: invested and knowledgeable family members, tracking and monitoring and supporting their babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children, can set their children up to be successful, life-long readers.

Joan G. Kelley, Ed.M.

Joan started her career as a classroom teacher, and then spent many years raising three children (Christina, Patrick and Tommy) while doing paid and unpaid work related to schools and teaching. After she received her Ed.M in Language & Literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) in 2005, she spent 2 ½ years teaching reading in an elementary school, and then joined Nonie’s lab group at HGSE. For the past decade, Joan has been working on academic vocabulary research, curriculum development, professional development for educators, and strategic literacy planning in school districts across the country. And all the while, she has been wondering how best to include parents in the job of setting children up to read well. A graduate of Harvard College (’84), she lives with her husband, John, in Needham, MA.

Nonie K. Lesaux, Ph.D.

Nonie is the Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson professor of Education and Society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research, promoting language and literacy for children from all backgrounds, has earned her the William T. Grant Scholars Award, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the United States government to scholars in the early stages of their careers. She is the chair of the Board of Early Education and Care for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the author of many articles and books. Nonie lives in Cambridge with her husband and two children, a toddler and a kindergartner.

Other contributors

Christina Kelley

Software Development

Susan Glenn

Operations & Project Management

We were fortunate to benefit from the input and expertise of a number of talented people: Elizabeth McClanan, Laura Stickle, Annie Connors, Mary Sprogell, Carolyn Buonanno Chase, Stephanie Jones, Meredith Rowe, Sharon Vaughn, Robin Kane — and all the friends and family members who took part in the earliest beta testing.