Who We Are
Melanie Brown began her teaching career at P.S. 307 in Brooklyn, where she taught fourth and fifth grades for more than five years. During her third year there her teaching life and classroom were transformed by the professional development she received in balanced literacy instruction. Realizing this was the way she would want her own child to learn, she joined the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. For seven years at the Project, Melanie staff developed K-8 teachers, coaches, and principals across the country and spent a year as a reading researcher for the Units of Study on the Teaching of Reading, Grades 3-5. Missing daily interactions with students and wanting to be in a school setting during the implementation of new literacy standards, Melanie became a K-5 Literacy Coach at a progressive charter school in the Bronx. Melanie also works as a literacy reform consultant for schools in New York and New Jersey. Her work in schools includes classroom demonstrations, planning sessions, curriculum writing, coaching, data analysis, and an emphasis on studying student work. Melanie lives on an island in New England with her husband, children, and two dogs in a house filled with books- the old-fashioned kind.
After completing her masters at Fordham University, Holly Chopack began her teaching career on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. As a new 3rd grade teacher Holly was given literacy staff development. She immediately felt she had been given an amazing set of tools to help her students become successful readers and writers. Holly set out to learn as much as she could about balanced literacy. She has participated in numerous workshops, summer institutes, and leadership groups at Teachers College. Holly brought her literacy knowledge back to her school to train teachers, and to lead workshops for parents. Holly has served as a new teacher mentor, and her classrooms have been lab sites for teachers from across the country. In addition, Holly has participated in a fellowship for struggling kindergarten and 1st grade readers at Fordham. Upon completion of the program, Holly was a coach for future participants. Holly has taught in Manhattan and Brooklyn for over 10 years. Holly lives in New Jersey with her husband and two little boys.