Born Lucille Ann Joseph in Morristown, New Jersey, I lived on a farm in Long Valley, New Jersey. As a daughter of immigrant parents, I was raised to be a hard worker and a proud American. Even though my parents only had an education to the first grade and spoke broken English, they had their own business as bakers of Armenian pastries. I was the youngest of four children, and all of us worked in the family business. At the age of eleven I started earning money babysitting after school and on weekends so that I could buy new clothes instead of wearing hand-me-downs. Even though I commuted to college on a full-time basis, I worked 40-plus hours a week in a restaurant as both a waitress during the day and a hostess/hatcheck girl in the evenings. Growing up I had a great interest in science and enjoyed my science courses in high school. When I applied to college, it was to become a science teacher. During the summer, after completing my freshman year, I worked as a camp counselor of young children in addition to my other jobs. Inasmuch as I enjoyed working with early elementary children, I decided to change my major from science education to early elementary education. That decision on my part proved to be a correct one, as I have enjoyed a rewarding career teaching and tutoring young children for more than 35 years.
In 1969 I married and became Lucille Ann Lucy and subsequently had two children, a daughter Jennifer and a son Michael. I was a stay-at-home mom until my children were in school all day. Upon my return to teaching I became more aware of the many learning difficulties I was addressing in the classroom. This motivated me to become more knowledgeable about learning disabilities and to get a Master’s Degree in Special Education. I also extended my graduate studies to earn Teacher of the Handicapped and Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant certificates.
As parents, my husband and I always played games with our children not only at home, but also in restaurants, doctors’ offices, in the car, on airplanes-–anyplace we had time to spend together. I would put games together using paper, pencils, and anything that was handy. We always had fun, and it gave us a chance to interact with one another. My daughter is an excellent reader. She attributes being a reader at the first grade level at the age of four to the games we used to play. My son loves math and anything to do with numbers. He feels that this love took root because of playing and enjoying my games.
Being a teacher and a parent, I recognized the need to assist children with reading and math in addition to what is offered through a standard school curriculum and also the lack of family unity amongst our peers. This is what led me to create Play ’n Learn Games. I have enjoyed the success of my own children, the success of the children I have taught in the school system as well as the children I have tutored, which successes were brought about in great part by playing my games.
By developing and marketing Play ‘n Learn Games, I hope to see my games become an important part of the lives of many children and families both in the United States and worldwide. Play ‘n Learn Games is a system to accelerate learning. They teach and reinforce basic skills in reading and math, as well as promote positive relationships and happy memories simply by playing games and having fun. Families and learning go together, and I hope to have an impact on both. I thank God for leading me through life and blessing me with a wonderful husband and family. I am grateful for all the help and support Jack has given me throughout our married life. My philosophy is: Don’t Ever Give Up. That is what I have lived by all of my life. I have endeavored to pass this philosophy on to my children and students, and now to my grandchildren.