Mary Jo O’Neill, M.Ed. Is a Special Education Advocate at Hickman & Lowder Company in Cleveland, Ohio. As an educational advocate, Mary Jo works with families of children with learning disabilities. Her background as a teacher and intervention specialist supports collaboration with teachers, administrators, and school systems to work together to create and implement the best systems and tools for successful learning. She is a contributing author for my new book on story structure, Story Frames for Teaching Literacy. She was generous enough to give a video interview to talk about how she helps families write their family stories. The video and transcript are below.
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INTERVIEW WITH MARY JO O’NEILL, M.ED., PARENT ADVOCATE - VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
Carolee: Good morning, Mary Jo. Thank you so much for being here with me to talk about my book and thank you for being a contributor.
Mary Jo: Thank you for having me. It’s exciting for the families. It’s exciting for the educators.
Carolee: My book is Story Frames for Teaching Literacy: Enhancing Student Learning Through the Power of Storytelling and the chapter you’ve written is “Advocating for Students: The Family Story.” In just a minute, I’m going to ask you to talk about your role as an advocate, what that means, and who you advocate for, but before we do that, I have a little story to share about how we met.
Carolee: Here we are in Annapolis with either George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, I’m not sure who. We were in Annapolis in 2015, along with Paula Moraine, who is also a contributing author for my book. We were there for the Destiny Meeting of the International Dyslexia Association and we were working on strategic planning for the organization. At that time, I was the president of the Southwest Branch.