Marjorie Jones, Ed.D. is the principal in AZ Learning Institute’s (ALI) educational consultants providing program design and direct children/parent services implementation for children birth to eight and literacy programs for children and adults. Dr. Jones is a graduate of Arizona State University and Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her specialties include Speech & Language, Early Childhood Education, Special Education, and Assessment & Treatment of Specific Learning and Reading Disorders. She is considered a pioneer in Arizona Special Education assessment and interventions. Employed first in the Phoenix Union High School District, she saw the end results of many children unserved or underserved and falling through the cracks of the medical and educational systems. A Major focus of her work has emphasized collaborating with preschools, elementary schools, doctors, researchers, community and state based agencies to recognize and respond to the special needs of young children.

 

She is the founding Executive Director and therapist of the Phoenix Scottish Rite Childhood Center; later known as the Arizona Literacy & Learning Center, part of the RiteCare Clinic network. Since 1987, Doctor Jones is responsible for developmental and sensory screening program design, professional team development, and identification and treatment of at-risk children and adults. Her trans-disciplinary teams help school districts, regional agencies, and community sites with implementation of developmental, sensory, and early childhood reading screening and instructional programs. Using her strong collaborative skills and team tutelage, a 17 yr. relationship was established with the Valley of the Sun United Way and a 28 yr. partnership continues with ALLC.

 

Dr. Jones was responsible for developing the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), Get Ready to Read Southwest Regional Center in Phoenix.   She supervised both the English and Spanish Arizona field testing for the Get Ready to Read! Screening tool authored by Lonigan & Whitehurst, a National Institute of Child Health and Development project. In a five year collaboration with NCLD and UNC’s Frank Porter Graham’s Childhood Institute, Dr. Jones was a team member in the development of the Recognition and Response of Learning Difficulties observation and direct services model for preschools. She also collaborated with Wake Forest University School of Medicine on the western field testing of the Predictive Assessment for Reading (PAR) for preschool -3rd grade children. The tool helps to answer the question, “Is the child ready for K?”
A five year, grant to Dr. Jones’ team was awarded by the Arizona Department of Education’s State Improvement, Professional Development section for Early Childhood Reading screening instruction, to involve professional specialists (including doctors), teachers, parents, and volunteers throughout Arizona. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Northern Arizona, Arizona State, and Ottawa Universities. For six years, Dr. Jones participated as an adjunct faculty member in collaboration with the ASU’s Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences to deliver researched based professional development instruction through a Motorola and U.S. Dept. of Education, Early Reading First Grants. Emphasis was on working with the Tempe School District, Maricopa County Head Start, private and public preschools. At Ottawa University she created and taught Master Degree classes in Assessment and Intervention for at-risk children. Her NAU and ASU classes implemented both professional development for preschool teachers seeking degrees and direct coaching of services for preschool children.

 

As a highly knowledgeable professional, she has held committee positions on the Arizona Department of Education’s Child Find, Early Intervention formative committees, Maricopa Local Planning Council coordinated by AzEIP, Arizona Literacy Plan, Early Childhood (0-5) section,   Reading First Steering Advisory Committee, Reading First Grants Review and K-3 Core Reading Material Review, Move On When Reading, and currently participates in the Read-On partnership. She served on the Arizona State Joint Senate/House Reading Success Task Force and was a founding director of the Arizona Council of Exceptional Children’s, Division of Early Childhood.

 

She has held leadership positions on the following collaborative panels: Chairperson, VSUW’s Early Childhood Partnership: South/Central Maricopa Regional School Readiness Council (the for-runner to FTF Councils), ASU’s Early Childhood Community of Practice, the VSUW’s Success by Six Initiative, Mesa United Way’s Family Fun Van Program and was appointed to the Helios Early Childhood Professional Development Advisory Committee.   She is an educational colleague in the Institute for Developmental and Behavioral Neurology Study Group. In 2008, she was selected as a participant in Arizona’s Town Hall research group studying the question, “Who will teach our children?”

 

In 2010 she collaborated with the Gila Bend Elementary School Dist., Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services and later the Town of Gila Bend to bring FTF Parent Education Training, developmental, sensory, and pre-reading screening to rural areas. She has participated and provided screening teams, early childhood, and literacy program development in Show Low and on the Navajo and San Carlos reservations. She was a major early childhood developmental and early literacy presenter at the Navajo Head Start Conference.

 

Dr. Jones was appointed to the Connecticut based, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation’s Early Childhood Education-Learning Disabilities 4 state research collaboration with applied projects.   As an active conference presenter, a sample of presentations include: “Advances in Best Practices and Policies” (National Center for Learning Disabilities Forum on Early Literacy Screening, Washington, D.C., 2005), “An Early Learning Snapshot through the Recognition and Response System” (ADE: Early Learning Conference, June 2006), “Recognition & Response #2” Early Childhood Workshops, plus the “Readiness Basket for Hispanic Parents” (ADE Early Learning Conference, 2007), “Arizona’s Early Childhood Policy Development” (Council for Exceptional Children’s National Conference, Indianapolis, IN. 2007), “Common Core Curriculum and Early Childhood Implications” (Delta Kappa Gamma Society workshops for teachers, Phoenix 2013). Recently, she participated in the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s 2014 Strengthening Families Summit.

 

Currently Dr. Jones’s Arizona Learning Institute subcontracts for consulting, screening (SW Screening Network), and/or parent education Readiness Basket program in the FTF Southwest Region with the Buckeye, Avondale, Town of Gila Bend Family Resource Centers and the Pilgrim Rest Foundation’s Nurturing Parents and Kids Watch programs. In addition, as a subcontractor to Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, father education programs are offered in the FTF SE and NC Family Spot Resource Centers.

 

Dr. Jones works to embed a philosophy that there must be a demise of the silo services approach and develop a continuum of networked services providing targeted strategies for all children.

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