Learning Links


About Learning Links
Founded in 1976,
Learning Links is the brainchild of Joyce Friedland and Rikki Kessler. As reading teachers in a prestigious Long Island school district, they decided that real literature, not basals or skills lessons, should become the core of their reading program. To do so, they created study guides to accompany the literature. Novel-Ties was their unique method of incorporating literature into the curriculum. At first, using Novel-Ties only in their own classrooms, Joyce and Rikki soon realized that other teachers wanted these guides for differentiated instruction with several novels or whole-class study of a single novel.

From its initial advertisement in 1981, when it offered only twelve study guides,
Learning Links now publishes over 600 Novel-Ties study guides. In fact, Learning Links provides everything teachers need for literature-based reading programs – books, study guides, audios, videos and more. From humble beginnings, and with very hard work, Joyce and Rikki steered the business to its present status as a major bookseller to schools in the United States and abroad.

Staying close to the teachers who keep their business growing, Joyce and Rikki continue to select new study guide titles and develop book collections based on teacher requests online and at the professional conferences they attend as exhibitors.
Learning Links demonstrates its commitment to the best in literature for children and young adults by developing and offering to educators around the world the teaching tools that make literature accessible to students.

About Joyce Friedland
Joyce Friedland was a student, then an educator, and is now as co-owner of
Learning Links, a publisher and bookseller to educational institutions. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, with a major in English literature; a Masters degree in English literature at Hunter College; and a Professional Diploma in Reading at Hofstra University, Joyce worked as a Reading Specialist in Great Neck, Long Island public schools for seventeen years, developing ways to use literature effectively in the classroom.

Learning Links, and its signature product Novel-Ties, was an outgrowth of Joyce’s work in the field of education and a partnership with Rikki Kessler, a Great Neck colleague. Starting the business as the young working mother of two boys, Joyce now tests new ideas on her grandchildren and their parents, trusting them to keep her up to date on what is happening in schools today.

About Rikki Kessler
As co-owner of
Learning Links, Rikki Kessler has been involved in education all her life. Starting with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Education from Queens College, she continued there for 30 graduate credits. She completed her formal education with a Masters degree in Reading at Hofstra University.

Rikki began her teaching career in the New York City public schools. When her three children were in school she became a Reading Specialist in the Great Neck, Long Island public schools. While there she collaborated with Joyce Friedland and together they created
Learning Links.

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