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Susan B. Neuman is professor at the University of Michigan and co-director of CIERA. She is president of the Literacy Development in Young Children special interest group and chair of the IRA committee on Reading in Early Childhood. She has co-authored a book with Carol Copple and Sue Bredekamp, Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practice (NAEYC, 2000), and has edited two books with Kathy Roskos, Children Achieving: Instructional Practices in Early Literacy (1998) and Language and Literacy Learning in the Early Years: An Integrated Approach (HBJ, 1993). In addition, she has published more than 50 articles in educational journals.

Catherine E. Snow, who serves as Henry Lee Shattuck Professor in human development and psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, received her Ph.D. in psychology from McGill University, and worked in the linguistics department of the University of Amsterdam before joining Harvard's faculty in 1978. She has co-authored Unfulfilled Expectations: Home and School Influences on Literacy (April 2000) with W. Barnes, J. Chandler, I. Goodman, and L. Hemphill, and Pragmatic Development, with Anat Ninio, and authored or co-authored over 150 research articles and chapters. Professor Snow was a member of the National Research Council Task Force to establish a research agenda for language minority children and co-chaired the NRC Committee that produced the report "Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children and Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success". She served as the president of the American Educational Research Association in 2000-01.

Fran Avni is a singer, songwriter, and producer, and has an educational background in teaching English as a Second Language. An experienced and lively performer, she focuses on language learning and developing basic skills through music and movement, as well as fun phonemic activities. She has spent over 30 years as an early childhood musician and workshop presenter, and is creator of more than 40 recordings used in various language arts curricula in schools across North America. In addition, she served as Author and Producer for Canada's National Film Board's early literacy project.