Learn About Jolly Reading Consulting

Dr. Susan Whittaker, owner of Jolly Reading, worked in the Illinois Public School system for 17 years. As an early childhood specialist for 10 years, she worked with children with disabilities ranging from mild speech and language delays to severe physical/medical conditions. For the remaining 7 years, Susan taught kindergarten in classes that included a strong emphasis on English language learners as well as inclusive children with disabilities. Dr. Whittaker has spent time in Abu Dhabi completing her TEFL Certification in Arabic studies as well as England working as the Manager of Autism for Arbourvale School. Susan has recently retired from her role as Principal for Summit Academy in Amherst, NY. The Academy houses 325 students from the WNY region and provides an alternative education program for children (18 months – 21 years) with autism and other developmental disabilities. Currently, Susan is an Assistant Professor at Niagara University in the Early Childhood - Special Education Department.

Susan possesses a Doctor of Education (EdD) from Aurora University in Illinois. Her dissertation entitled “Response to Intervention (RtI) - Effectiveness in Kindergarten Reading Achievement” was completed in May, 2013. Susan was a speaker at the annual dissertation conference at Aurora University in September, 2012 and has been an invited speaker at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders and The Reading League conferences for her work in building a balanced reading program for children with ASD.

Susan is passionate about early reading and literacy skills at the pre-school through sixth grade levels. She has been an independent trainer for Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar (www.JollyLearning.co.uk/) for the past nine years. Susan networks with worldwide trainers and attends annual global conferences to discuss reading incentives and pedagogies. Her use of Jolly Phonics has yielded increased reading scores as evidenced in standardized reading tests. Susan is committed to reducing reading delays by implementing research-based reading programs at an early age for typically developing children as well as those diagnosed with ASD.

Kind Words:

I have been teaching Jolly Phonics for three years now, and I cannot imagine not using the program. Jolly Phonics teaching is a key to the students’ future. It impacts on all school subjects and beyond because by the end of Reception all the children at O’Sullivan School can read and write. I can envisage a future in which it will remain an integral part of the educational program here, securely embedded in our school culture.

Christina Hooper - Junior Primary Teacher

Cassel has responded well to the concept of breaking words into sounds. At night when we read, he has started to cover up part of a word, sound out the first part, then cover the other part, sound it out, and put the two parts together. He gets so excited when a group of letters he doesn’t initially recognize becomes a word he is familiar with. Since he and Scarlett are so close in age, and are both doing Jolly Phonics, the sound book has become a nighty ritual that the two of them share and have a lot of fun with. Since Cassel is a little older, and on his second round of the program, he loves helping Scarlett learn the sounds and motions. I took some video last weekend of him helping her read a Bob Book; pretty priceless.

Stephanie and Jay- Pre-Kindergarten Parents

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