I started my teaching career in the Bronx 8 years ago. My experience as an NYC teacher has taught me, and I believe this to my core, that the most significant thing we can do to prepare our children for academic success is to invest in their early development.

Each year I was greeted with a new group of students, many of whom struggled to read grade-level texts. I saw this year after year in my classroom and I thought, what else can I do? I researched and read and read and researched, and although I believe in the importance of intervention programs, I thought, how can I solve this problem before it starts?

My husband and I decided to create storytime events for children ages 3-5 in our building in the Bronx. The kids loved our events; they learned, and more importantly, they had fun doing it! I started to think, what else can we do?

We expanded our storytime events to include local libraries and Barnes & Noble locations in and around NYC. This brought us to different communities, from Westchester to the Bronx to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The communities were different, the kids were different, but the learning and the experiences were the same. I thought, what else can I do? How can I make this bigger? How can I reach more families and more communities?

Two years ago, I started developing an early literacy program focused on empowering parents to create experiential learning opportunities at home. I am now in the process of combining that program with the fun, tactile and timebound experience of a board game.

Dream Force: Mission Space is a dice-rolling, space-themed adventure game that incorporates elements of legacy as players search for the missing team of astronauts at the behest of Captain Stargaze of the Dream Force. Young astronauts (children ages 3-5) will develop early literacy and other foundational skills as they complete training missions and challenges to advance through space. As I work to bring this to life, I am excited to be joined by a community of people who also believe in the importance of early literacy!