After talking with Jo Collier you’ll soon realise she has a passion to help develop children’s communication skills in the prime window of intervention: 0 to 5 years.
Children with solid spoken language skills prior to kindergarten have a great foundation for learning reading, writing and academic skills.
Jo who is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist graduated from the University of Sydney in 1994. Since then she has worked in community health and commenced as the Paediatric Speech Pathologist at Port Kembla Hospital at the end of 1996, and continued working in Illawarra Area Health until 2011.
Since 2001 Jo has developed a special interest in working with preschoolers and preschool educators in various specialised projects with Illawarra Area Health.
“I always knew I wanted to work with children and wanted to be in a profession where I could help people.”
“I was absolutely delighted to be invited to join the team at Cedars Prep several years ago to help children develop their communication skills which are so important to classroom learning.”
People are often surprised to find that speech pathologists don’t just help with pronunciation of sounds. Effective communication also includes listening to and understanding what is said, using words, sentences and grammar to express thoughts and ideas clearly, and understanding conversational rules.
Jo’s role at Cedars Prep is to strengthen communication skills for all the children and provide communication screening for the students to identify particular areas of focus for each child.
Several times each week Jo provides an hour of focused speech and language activities in a small group format. Strategies, ideas and resources to help continue building these skills with the children are provided to the Prep staff so that these foundational skills continue throughout the school day.
Jo holds a strong Christian faith and it is very evident that she reflects God’s love in her work with our youngest students.
In her spare time Jo loves to relax and spend time with her husband Darrin and two boys, Seth and Josh.
“I love a good coffee at a café with a friend, bushwalking and spending time at the beach. When possible, I enjoy gardening, but I find hardy plants are the ones that currently survive in my garden!”