Jennifer Summerlin, Ph.D.
School of Education
Areas of expertise:
- Children's literature and reading
- Developmental reading
- Best practices in literacy
- Dyslexia intervention
Summerlin believes every child and person should be able to read with confidence. When a child decides he or she is unable to read is when the real damage begins. By developing reading skills and confidence, every child has the chance to excel in literacy. Her work with readers specifically looks at reading process to figure out what they are doing well. By using the reader’s strengths, she targets specific interventions to progress the reader.
Her expertise is in differentiated literacy learning within the preschool to 12th grade classroom with diverse learners, including precise diagnostic and prescriptive work with struggling readers. Summerlin’s research lends to the importance of reading and literature in classrooms and everyday life for elementary, middle school and high school aged children. She focuses her teaching and research on prepping the next generation of educators to incorporate reading and literacy into everyday life by building knowledge related to effective, targeted reading interventions to increase reading achievement levels. She works with educators to build and effectively implement instructional techniques for struggling learners of all types, including dyslexia. Her support for teacher candidates and in-service teachers supports their efforts to build classroom communities with research-based, best practices related to enactment of reading interventions within the classroom and school setting.
As an expert in literacy, Summerlin can speak to media on incorporating literacy into a child’s everyday routine, teaching children to read through adults, addressing literacy struggles in children, the importance of literacy schools and how literacy translates into the workplace upon graduation.