About the Author
For nearly 40 years, School Zone has helped make learning fun! Our research-based content, developed by leading educators, delivers award-winning, state-of-the-art products digital and print for individual learning styles and goals. Every product placed in a child’s hands is brimming with color, content, and creativity. In every detail, innovation meets imagination and timeless tradition. In that same spirit, School Zone both embodies success and embraces possibility, stepping boldly into new media and platforms to connect with kids where they are. Parents appreciate the quality and attention to detail. The company continually updates materials with new features and content, reflective of changing standards, evolving teaching methods, and overall best practices. The result? Great learning at home and in the classroom.
Joan Hoffman, M.A., is the author and co-author of hundreds popular storybooks and workbooks for children. Among the titles are Peter?s Dream, I Don?t Like Peas, and The New Bike (the latter two published under the pen name Marie Vinje), the Get Ready for Preschool, Kindergarten, and First Grade workbook trio, along with the entire Get Ready, Little Thinker, I Know It!, Try-n-Spy, and Little Busy Book workbook series.
She is also co-founder, along with her late husband James Hoffman, Ph.D., of School Zone Publishing. Visionary in business, she has long looked at the world through a child?s eyes, infusing her stories and lessons with joy and relatability.
As a mother of 4 back in the ?70s, like moms the world over throughout history, she wanted what was best for her children. And she knew that teachers didn?t have the time to give her kids everything they needed. As an elementary school teacher, Hoffman worked hard to give her students what they needed to learn. And parents would ask her what they could do to help. That?s why she started School Zone?to help give children every possible chance to reach their potential.
She brought retail experience gleaned from previously founding and managing two regional educational book and supply stores for teachers and parents. Her husband lent his blended talents of educator and entrepreneur. A professor of education who also had first-hand experience as an elementary teacher, he was involved in teacher education programs at several colleges and had served at the helm of a company that published classroom materials.
Combining rock-solid editorial judgment and creative instincts with a thorough understanding of early education, Joan Hoffman was an exemplary proponent of design thinking long before it became a conceptual label. An innovative problem-solver, she has always sought to reach out to end users and challenge convention. Separating fleeting trends from legitimate advances has been essential to her company?s longevity.
The results speak for themselves. With the next generation?both son Jonathan and daughter Jennifer?taking on creative and strategic leadership roles in the company their parents started, School Zone seamlessly integrated digital learning platforms. The company received Apple?s exclusive Human Interface Design Excellence Award for software development, and its apps were part of the first-generation iPad launch in 2010. School Zone?s flagship product, the Little Scholar Learning Tablet, has earned industry-wide recognition and awards, as has its online learning destination Anywhere Teacher. Inspired by mom?s story-telling excellence, son Jonathan continued that legacy with Charlie & Company, an original series for ages 3-7, available on Oznnoz, Kidoodle.tv, ToonGoggles, BatteryPop, Ameba, and Highbrow.
Joan Hoffman says, ?It is incredibly rewarding to see the children and grandchildren of some of our original customers enjoying our ever-evolving books, apps, flash cards, games, music, and other products?both print and digital.?
In 2019 School Zone celebrates its 40th anniversary, spanning portions of five decades and having sold more than 370 million educational products. Hoffman continues to be hands-on in the company, still writing, still envisioning, and still putting kids, parents, and teachers first.