For as long as I can remember, children gravitated towards me. I was always the teacher’s helper and knew at an early age that my career would focus on kids. After getting a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in teaching literacy from birth to 6th grade, I got a job in the New Jersey public school system. I was randomly assigned to a preschool class and this changed my life forever!
I fell in love with early education and teaching preschoolers, and pursued an early childhood certification to my master’s degree. After teaching in the public school system, I had an opportunity to move to NYC and become the director of a private preschool. I made the move but after three years as an administrator, I really missed being in the classroom.
Teaching was always my passion, so I left my job and started tutoring children while plotting my next move. As a tutor, I offered a little of everything – reading and comprehension, handwriting, test prep, skill building activities – and saw that children were at ease learning at home in a comfortable, familiar environment. I also realized there was a need for all of this curriculum to be offered in one place—and I was just the person to create it.
The seed for Book Nook was planted, and I began developing a program where reading serves as the foundation for learning and incorporates other aspects such as imagination, creativity and handwriting. I’ve seen firsthand that children who develop the necessary literacy skills early on are more confident and adapt more efficiently as they enter their next academic year.
I opened the first Book Nook on the Upper West Side in 2012 and the response was beyond what I had ever dreamed. My husband Andy joined me in 2016 to oversee business development and operations, and in 2017 we opened our second location in Tribeca. Along the way we became parents to our son Rian, who will be starting Lil’ Hoots classes this fall.
My goal was to create a cheerful environment that fosters creativity and learning. The feedback from parents, children and teachers is that Book Nook makes them happy and they’re always eager to return. For me, there’s no better feeling than hearing that and watching my students succeed.