Lori and Melissa in studio, wearing headphones.
Lori and Melissa

Our Story

In 2019, Lori approached Melissa with the idea for this podcast, she knew she would be the perfect yin to her yang. They instantly connected as friends and colleagues!

When they were working together in Baltimore in 2018, the first year of implementation of Wit & Wisdom ELA, they worked together to record videos to model preparing to teach the curriculum. Although it took a lot of practice and perseverance, they found that they loved supporting teachers, coaches, and leaders virtually... and thus, the idea for the Melissa and Lori Love Literacy podcast was born. 

It is hard for researchers to get their findings into the hands of teachers, and it is even more difficult for teachers to find time to delve into education journals in their spare time.The goal of our podcast is to make the connection between education research and what happens in the classroom. We want to make sure that every episode is grounded in research about how to teach reading and writing but also feels practical and applicable to the classroom. 

We are beyond grateful to all of our incredible guests who drop serious knowledge on our podcast. Thank you to all of our listeners, the Literacy Lovers! We love learning and growing as educators together! 

We can't wait to keep learning with you!

Melissa and Lori

Meet the Hosts

Melissa Loftus is a National Board-Certified teacher who taught middle and high school ELA nearly 15 years in New Orleans and Baltimore. Her interest in teaching students how to read was sparked when she taught a reading program for ninth grade students in her second year of teaching. She briefly coached other teachers using the reading program before returning to the classroom and deciding to pursue a master’s degree to learn more about reading instruction. In addition to teaching, Melissa has served as a teacher coach at both the school and district level and as an adjunct professor of education at Johns Hopkins University. She has deep experience providing professional development to teachers about effective instruction, especially in literacy. In addition to hosting the podcast, she is currently a curriculum developer with Great Minds and lives in Pennsylvania with her son where they spend their free time in their beautiful garden.

Lori Sappington is an energetic former elementary and high school teacher and reading specialist who taught for more than a decade in Baltimore, Maryland. She spent her first years teaching in high school, where she realized many students struggled to read and write well, which piqued her interest to learn more. She went on to teach ELA in primary and intermediate grades, while pursuing a master’s degree in reading. In addition to her role as classroom teacher, Lori supported teachers and leaders through coaching at the school and district levels. She has extensive experience developing and leading professional development about effective and equitable literacy instruction.  She currently executes the vision and alignment of multimedia content with Great Minds and lives in Maryland with her daughter, Presley, and husband, Michael, where they spend their free time playing sports of all kinds.