A team dedicated to building innovative literacy programs

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The Company

Colvard Learning is an EdTech publisher, developing comprehensive, evidence-based literacy programs for tablets that teach children how to read. CL's immersive, cumulative, and rigorously scaffolded curricula feature animation, interactive stories, music and activities, which together create a fun experience, unparalleled in the quality of its educational content. It systematically takes each child from phonemic awareness to phonics to reading and writing by engaging visual, verbal, auditory, and kinesthetic memory at every step. Our programs focus on early childhood and elementary education and are built on the findings of leading literacy researchers and studies from the National Reading Panel and National Early Literacy Panel.

The Team

Our team is comprised of educators, technology experts, and passionate individuals looking to make a difference in literacy education. We take a hands-on approach with our programs and provide one-on-one support to the teachers and schools using our programs. We value building relationships with educators and parents alike.
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Dr. Michael Colvard

Founder

Children are naturally gifted to hear, recognize and reproduce the sounds of spoken language. Once a child is taught to recognize the basic individual sounds of the English language (phonemes), it will then be easy to teach the symbols (letters) associated with those sounds; and a child quickly begins to understand that written language is simply a code for spoken language—a code that can be learned and mastered. Data from the U.S. Department of Education tells us that nearly 70% of all U.S. children are non-proficient readers. Parents are desperate to help their children become more accomplished readers so they can become successful and confident learners. Yet, the overwhelming majority of "reading apps" offered are little more than entertainment masquerading as educational tools. We want parents to have access to comprehensive, evidence-based, interactive programs that have been tested in schools and have a proven track record of dramatically lifting the reading skills of children.

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Matthew Colvard

Co-Founder, Game Designer

I believe literacy is a cornerstone of democratic society. Through reading, we increase our ability to imagine ourselves in one another's shoes and extend our capacity for judgement, knowledge and decency. My work with Colvard Learning builds upon my experience as a music teacher to LD and ADHD children and my frustrations as a child with LD in learning how to read. Professor Jesse Schell once defined game design as "a problem solving activity approached in a playful manner." By this definition, what in life is not a game? My job at Colvard Learning is to ensure that the children using our programs are never frustrated, bored or confused.

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Robert Ketterer

C.E.O.

As a father of three who all had different learning styles, I wanted to create an interactive product that could help parents and teachers alike, to support differentiated learning. My passion and fascination for literacy started as a child in Hong Kong, surrounded by so many languages that were not spoken at home. My dream is take Pup's Quest for Phonics and Professor Pup's Phoneme Farm to the world to make an impact on global English literacy.

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Melinda Piña

Reading Specialist and Content Development

Melinda Piña is an educator with over 22 years of experience as an elementary teacher, reading/literacy coach, district resource teacher, reading and language arts specialist, and owner of Piña Reading Academy. She has created and delivered district wide professional developments in many areas including reading fluency, spelling, comprehension, vocabulary, phonics, and phonemic awareness. Her audiences include administrators, teachers, instructional coaches, paraprofessionals, and parents. Melinda has been responsible for training educators in how to meet the academic needs of each individual student.

She obtained her Master’s Degree in Advanced Teaching Skills from the University of La Verne, and earned a Reading and Language Arts Specialist Credential from UCLA.

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Roberta Gonzalez

Early Childhood Literacy Consultant

Roberta Gonzalez is a consultant with the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Curriculum and Instructional Services Division. In this capacity, she provides technical assistance and professional development to teachers and administrators across Los Angeles County. Prior to working as a consultant, Ms. Gonzalez was a preschool director and elementary school principal in Southern California. During her administrative career, she spearheaded curricular reforms aimed at improving children’s readiness for kindergarten and promoting developmentally appropriate practices across the elementary grade span.

Ms. Gonzalez is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and a former board member with the Southern California Association for the Education of Young Children. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University, conferred with Honors from the School of Education, and a Master’s Degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

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Chaz Ganster

Creative Director

I have always been fascinated by language. I studied Italian at Wesleyan University and University of Bologna, which allowed me to better understand the connections between languages, and how similar they are. Before I started creating Pup’s Quest, I spent two years teaching myself Japanese to find and communicate with my long-estranged family in Japan, which was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I initially created the look of Pup’s Quest characters as a “puppy alternative” to Hello Kitty, with dreams of bringing the app to Japan, and generally to spread English literacy to children in other countries. We’ve been blessed to have such an amazing team and so many dedicated teachers and students in the Los Angeles area. I’m so excited to see how Professor Pup and his apps will grow and affect the world.

Interested in trying our programs in your classroom?

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