Sharifa Kelly has dedicated her career to creating positive environments for the students and families she serves. Prior to joining Springboard, she served as a classroom teacher and Literacy Specialist for eleven years. Early in her career, Sharifa developed an interest in early childhood literacy because she recognized the ways it empowered her students to become more positive members of their community. It was also during her time as an elementary teacher that Sharifa was first introduced to Springboard. Since 2012, she has worked in several seasonal roles, including Springboard Teacher, Instructional Coach, Cluster Leader, and Program Manager. Sharifa completed her undergraduate studies in Elementary and Special Education at LaSalle University and her M.Ed at Arcadia University. Sharifa is inspired by the students she’s taught, the educators she’s collaborated with, and the many roles she has held within the Springboard community. These experiences also serve as resources in her efforts to improve children’s literacy lives and empower families to have stronger voices within their educational communities. Sharifa lives in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia with her three children, with whom she happily shares her favorite read-aloud book from the classroom: Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold.