Who We Are

Maria Fico and John Ellrodt

Together, Maria Fico and John Ellrodt, Co-Presidents of Global Writes, have spent over forty years working in the schools and classrooms of New York and other cities. As teachers, as district staff and as technology specialists, they have designed and implemented countless projects and programs to explore the ways that new and emerging technologies enhance and extend education. Now, as consultants and leaders of a growing not-for-profit, they focus on bringing students, teachers, artists and thinkers together in collaborative communities, utilizing technology to cross the borders of time, space, language and age.

In 1998, when Maria was Director of Technology at then NYC District 10, and John was Director of the Regional Educational Technology Center at Fordham University, they created Bronx Writes, a performance poetry program, centering on writing workshops with resident teaching artists, and the use of videoconferencing to share student work. Through close partnership with DreamYard, a Bronx-based arts organization, the program grew from four schools to nearly thirty, and from six classrooms to over fifty. Global Writes was formed in 2005 expressly to bring the Bronx Writes concept to other cities, to further develop the model, and to begin to build a global community of student poets.

Over the last few years, John, Maria and Global Writes have been recipients of three separate grants from the US Department of Education. The Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination program has funded startup of new Global Writes partnerships in Chicago, with Young Chicago Authors and Chicago Public Schools, and, most recently, in San Francisco, with Performing Arts Workshop and San Francisco Unified School District. Data gathered from these and earlier studies have underscored the positive academic, social and emotional impact of the Global Writes model, and just how valuable it is to bring young people together to learn the power and beauty of the written and spoken word.

Board Members

Donald Marinelli -Academic Director, Entertainment Technology Management Program at Columbia University School of Continuing Education

Craig Moss – Teacher, MS 145, Bronx NY

Vincent Toro – Arts Director, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Organization

Parneshia Jones – Sales and Subsidiary Rights Manager at Northwestern University Press;Recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award and the Margaret Walker Short Story Award.

Carlos Burgos - Student Success Advocate at Guttman Community College