Michele Meleen is a stay-at-home mom and Freelance Writer with experience writing professionally for blogs, websites, and print publications on a wide variety of topics. Her areas of expertise include: counseling, baby/kids/teens, parenting, and family life.
As the proud mom to a rambunctious 3-year-old boy, sister to 6, and aunt to 18, Michele has helped others through numerous pregnancies and child-rearing. She began babysitting for family and friends as a teenager and, in her most recent traditional work position, was required to take several courses annually on topics such as: SIDS training, Infant/Child/Adult CPR and First Aid, and day care regulations.
Michele is a proud member of the local chapter of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), active participant in infant/toddler swim lessons and story time, as well as regular attendee of a local playgroup which keeps her up-to-date and informed on different parenting techniques and baby gear.
Michele earned an M.S.Ed. in School Counseling from Saint Bonaventure University and holds provisional certification as a School Counselor in New York State. During graduate school, she worked in a group home for adolescents with mental health diagnoses, interned at two schools with children from preschool through 12th grade, co-led groups for children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, and provided personal counseling to children and families in the University Clinic.
Upon graduation, Michele worked for several nonprofit agencies with children of all ages, particularly at-risk youth. In her most recent position as Advantage After School Coordinator, Michele planned and led an after school program for grades K-12, a girl’s summer program, and a weekly teen center.
Family has always been at the forefront of Michele’s personal life, where celebrating birthdays of all extended family members is as regular an occurrence as major holidays.
In her most recent outside-the-home position, Michele was responsible for creating program and parent handbooks, leading parent orientations, writing and enforcing discipline policies, and hosting family nights. Her love of learning and ability to relate to people of all ages make her an expert on all aspects of family life.
Toys and Games
Michele grew up playing games every Sunday at Grandma's family dinner. Upon learning of her knack for winning all games of speed and word skill, Michele was hooked. Family favorites still include classics like Spoons, Nerts, Balderdash, and Pictionary - all of which grandma is allowed to cheat at. Michele worked as an After School Program Coordinator where she was responsible for creating a diverse daily program for students in grades K-12. She brought her love of games and competitive spirit into daily activities with the kids as a means to relate and teach. As mom to a preschooler, Michele now plays more Pop the Pig and Twister than she cares to admit.
In her previous work with non-profits Michele was challenged to provide new and exciting toys to kids of all ages within a nearly non-existent budget. That meant a lot of creativity and yard sale shopping! Michele particularly loves to find multiple uses for standard toys and new ways to play games, typically with an emphasis on promoting education and social skills.
Hobbies and Interests
Michele is and always has been an avid reader and creative soul. Her library is now overrun with children’s books, which are read daily, and she is an aspiring children’s author. Michele also enjoys the great outdoors, especially camping and hunting for beach glass. Three things Michele is addicted to are board/card games, reality TV, and food/wine - particularly Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!