Dr. Dillon's passion is to bring what's known in the research world about reading instruction to teachers and students. She is currently working as a literacy coach and consultant in Connecticut through Literacy How, a non-profit formed by Dr. Margie Gillis. Dr. Dillon is thrilled to be working with Literacy How colleagues, elementary and middle school teachers, students, and administrators in three school districts. In 2019 and 2020, workshops will be available upon request when possible. In the summer of 2019, Dr. Dillon is honored to be able to help inmates learn to read or improve their reading skills as part of the St. Lucia Literacy Project.
B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) in English from Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI, in 1998
M.Phil. in Linguistics from Cambridge University in 1999 under Dr. April MacMahon
Ph.D. in Linguistics from Indiana University in 2006 under Dr. Kenneth de Jong
Pre-doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Psychological Science's Speech Research Laboratory under Dr. David Pisoni.
Post-doctoral Fellowship at Haskins Labs in New Haven, CT
Literacy Mentor in K-2nd-grade classrooms in Hartford, CT in the Haskins Literacy Initiative, which led to Dr. Dillon’s interest in the brain and reading and to the founding of Literacy How by Dr. Margie Gillis
Connecticut State Department of Education Teaching Certificate, Middle Grades Language Arts
7th-Grade English Language Arts teacher: East Hartford, CT and New Haven, CT
6th-8th Grade English Language Arts teacher: Lansing, MI and East Lansing, MI
Volunteer tutor and professional tutor for elementary, middle, and high school students in reading before school, during lunch and planning periods, and after school
Literacy Instructor, Coach, and Consultant for schools in mid-Michigan, providing instruction for students, training classroom teachers and special education teachers, assessing and training teachers to assess, and establishing systems for identifying and helping struggling readers
"I heard the principal ask if I would show some fellow teachers the strategies I was using to help middle-schoolers improve their reading (and spelling and writing) skills... but Professional Development time was not available. So over time, weekly visits to a few classes began, and teachers watched the activities I did with their students so that they could carry them on after I left. I ended up essentially being a "specials" teacher in kindergarten through 8th-grade classrooms. I went into multiple K through 8th-grade classrooms once a week each for several years and eventually also had the opportunity to do something similar in high school classes.
“For each visit, I aimed to bring an engaging, strategic, effective, naturally-differentiated activity for the students, for the two-fold purpose of improving each student's literacy and analytical skills while providing the teacher with knowledge to apply in the classroom beyond the time of the activity. Eventually the activities were gathered into a kit we call Word Revelation.
“Soon after I had collected all of the activities into a Word Revelation kit, I had the excitement of being asked by a friend to give a workshop for some homeschool teachers and a college student who wanted to provide reading tutoring for children. After making each participant a kit, I prepared the brief theoretical bits I thought would be useful for them to learn and internalize. That workshop led to another, and another, and so this work has continued in schools, homes, and various educational environments as teachers and students have experienced the success and joy of developing genuine, lasting literacy skills while completing Word Revelation.
“As more people participated in Word Revelation workshops, I began to be unable to keep the pace needed to make the kits. In 2017, upon recommendation from a friend, I had the great privilege of beginning to partner with Grand Traverse Industries (GTI). Based in Traverse City, Michigan, GTI is a non-profit whose mission is to provide fulfilling employment for adults with disabilities. Through the ingenuity of their Director of Industrial Operations, Mike Moore, and the hard work of their employees, GTI now produces the Word Revelation kits for distribution.
“Regardless of the students' ages and abilities, I hope that ultimately the Word Revelation approach helps teachers and students experience greater fulfillment as they navigate our literacy-dependent world and carry out their missions, whatever they may be. It is a great privilege to have this work as my mission!"