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Professor Helps Overcome Literacy Challenges

By Jacqueline Escobar

Staff Writer

Jennifer Southard, an adjunct English professor, teaches English 1 and 2 and Post 101, and she has a passion for helping students become proficient in writing. Southard holds a Bachelor of Science and a Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s University, along with a Master of Science in English Education from Hofstra University.

Adjunct English professor Jennifer Southard

Southard also teaches writing courses at Adelphi University and Nassau Community College and volunteers at Literacy Nassau, where she tutors adults who have learning disabilities such as dyslexia. Literacy Nassau
is a non-for-profit organization that assists individuals with low literacy skills. Thanks to this program, students with financial burdens receive tutoring services. “I am very passionate about helping those with dyslexia,” Southard said.

Southard is working on her certification to be an Orton Gillingham practitioner, which will allow her to teach those who struggle in reading in a multisensory way. “The Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators is an institute that promotes and teaches a methodology which educates individuals with dyslexia to help them overcome their disabilities so they can learn to read and write,” Southard said.

“Literacy Nassau is sponsoring me or giving me a fellowship to train and become certified in this program. As part of that, I voluntarily tutor students in their center in Wantagh,” Southard added.

With a kind heart and spirit, Southard will continue to help those in need of literacy skills. “As far as advice to students, I would say that many people have a grim outlook on the future right now, but I truly believe this generation (meaning my students at Post), has the power to change things and make the world a much better place,” Southard said.

This generation, Southard believes, will be able to attain kindness for others, with the technological enhancements available today. “I believe this because this generation knows how to harness the power of social media and displays more compassion and tolerance for others than any generation that I have seen so far,” she said.

“Be confident in your abilities to change the world for the better because I truly believe that you, more than any other generation, has the power within to do it,” Southard said.

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