Welcome to Biblionasium! We are dedicated to the critical belief that all kids can fall in love with reading. Consistent support and just the right book can ignite the spark. Teachers refer to us as “Goodreads for Kids” because we provide opportunities for kids to rate, review and recommend their favorite books to other kids in a safe, school-friendly environment. We also go beyond the mere sharing of reading with our reading reports feature, which allows educators to measure a number of metrics related to student reading.
The Story Behind Biblionasium
As a parent to two young readers, Biblionasium founder Marjan Ghara was spending a great deal of time trying to make sure her kids were reading good books, developing good reading habits, and learning to love books. With her co-founders, Nader Granmayeh and Leyli Granmayeh, they came up with the idea for Biblionasium out of personal need. Forever trying to find the next great book to read, they turned to friends, librarians and teachers for recommendations.
As enthusiastic suggestions poured in, Marjan and her kids realized they needed a digital solution to organize the information, keep track of their own favorite books and connect a new generation of digital kids.
As a result of direct input from a stellar group of educators, librarians and classroom teachers, the site has now grown tremendously since its original conception. Part kids social network, part parent’s guide, part educator’s tool, Biblionasium blends technology with personal connection to create a supportive, engaging space for reading success.
We use the metaphor of a gymnasium because we believe in and foster through our website, the importance of Discipline, Practice, Goal Setting, and Rewards in achieving success.
Experts agree that community and consistency can be powerful in helping children become better, more passionate readers. Our mission is to instill good reading habits at a young age; to promote reading as a social activity, and to connect kids, parents and teachers to create a virtual “reading village.” We invite you to explore the site. And hope you’ll join us in a great book.
Marjan Ghara - Founder & CEO
Adele Schwartz, Ed.D – Chief Education Advocate
Adele is among those very talented educators who are constantly looking for new solutions and ideas. She is a highly respected Learning Specialist with more than 35 years experience in schools and colleges in New York City. Adele also has extensive experience conducting qualitative research for business and not-for-profit clients, especially in media and technology education. With a B.S. degree in Education & Special Education from CUNY and MA in Literary Education from CUNY and an Ed.D in Special Education & Educational Technology, Teacher’s College, Columbia University, she is lifelong learner, a big advocate for innovation in teaching, and a highly respected and admired educator. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team along with her dynamic energy and enthusiasm. One of Adele’s favorite children’s books is “A light in the Attic” by Shel Silverstein.
Shannon McClintock Miller - Director of School and Library Strategy
Anna Winham - Sales and Marketing Director
Equal parts bookworm and social butterfly, Anna has a professional background in sales and marketing, team building, and entrepreneurship, making Biblionasium’s marketing department the perfect intersection of her skills and interests. Since she graduated from Dartmouth College with an honors double major in English and Linguistics, she’s been a political organizer, built out sales teams on behalf of Major League Baseball teams, and launched her first business. Anna brings a mixture of positive enthusiasm and quiet determination to the team while never losing sight of the goal. Though her favourite childhood book now may be “Alice in Wonderland”, when she was actually a child it was certainly “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Haley Despard – Digital Production Manager
At age 4, Haley started reading books on her own and completely fell in love with the written word. She now uses her love of reading and technology to create digital assets (graphic, video, and web) for Biblionasium. By managing Biblionasium’s visual identity, Haley works hard to ensure Biblionasium users’ voices are heard and with her great insight, provides critical input to Biblionasium’s product roadmap. Haley’s education is in Communications and a correlate in New Media and she is completing her degree at Southern New Hampshire University. She has already written and published three novels under a pseudonym and dreams of one day writing a book that gets turned into a film. Her favorite childhood book, a copy of which fell apart because of her many re-readings, is “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.
Alexandra Tornek - Website Design
Alexandra is the President of Tornek Design Associates, a boutique design and branding firm that specializes in web, print, logo design and character illustration. She is also the Co-Founder and CEO of So Smart! Productions, an award-winning production company that focuses on educational children’s media. She has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of art, psychology, children’s media and business: as a scientific researcher, illustrator, producer, and graphic designer. Alexandra holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Clinical Psychology from the University of Miami, and has done extensive doctoral work, including the authoring of numerous papers, in early childhood development. She is also a mother to two elementary school age children and her favorite children’s book is “Frog and Toad All Year.”
Linda Fung - Illustrator and creator of Coach C. Manzee
Coach C. (Chip) Manzee - Personal Trainer and Chief Motivator
Remember the year the Chimp Olympics came to town? Neither do we. But Chip does. He was the coach to some of the best Chimp athletes ever. He loved to motivate and get his team excited about whatever event they were competing in. But it was during nap time (yes, even athletes need their naps) that Chip would stay awake and read books about famous athletes from the past. He would lose himself in these amazing stories of courage, strength and determination. Chip loved to read and he loved to coach. That’s when it hit him. Why not do both?!
Meet Biblionasium’s reading coach and chief motivator Coach C. Manzee. (The C stands for Chip; we just call him Coach C. Manzee around here.) He helps kids achieve higher and higher levels of reading ability. Coach Manzee can help find your way around the site; suggest fun activities; offer tips; reward reading achievements and encourage kids to be their absolute best. Coach Manzee has too many favorite books to list here. Check out some of his suggestions on the website!
In addition to the team members above, Biblionasium is fortunate to have a very engaged and active advisory board and invaluable support from our first-class partners.