[Hpn] learning

mail.ids.net homey@ids.net
Sun, 30 Apr 2000 13:08:57 -0400


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_005A_01BFB2A5.3EA03D20
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

[ Send this story to a friend | Easy-print version | Add to Daily User ] =

            Finding their voices=20

            Speech professor's project helps homeless children=20

            By Nina McCain, Globe Correspondent, 4/30/2000=20

           =20


            Terese O'Neil-Pirozzi is an assistant professor of =
speech-language pathology at Northeastern University, but on Thursday =
afternoons she becomes an alligator or a penguin or any one of a number =
of fanciful animals and human characters.=20


            Thursday afternoon is when O'Neil-Pirozzi, an animated, =
enthusiastic storyteller, and two or three of her students visit the =
Sojourner shelter for homeless families in Roxbury. For an hour they =
read, talk, and play with children whose families are living there.=20


            But this is not your ordinary story hour. O'Neil-Pirozzi and =
her students have a purpose beyond amusing and entertaining the =
children. They are trying to encourage speech and language development =
in children whose lives are, at least temporarily, fractured.=20


            In a recent study that O'Neil-Pirozzi and 19 of her students =
and graduate students did of 25 mothers and 29 preschool children living =
in shelters in Boston and Rhode Island, they found that 76 percent of =
both mothers and children had speech-language problems such as =
difficulty in repeating a sentence or explaining what they read.=20


            Compared to the families' overwhelming problems with basics =
like food and shelter, difficulties with language might seem minor at =
best.=20


            But O'Neil-Pirozzi believes that the children's future =
success in school and the mothers' abilities to find and keep jobs to =
support their families depends in no small part on being able to speak =
effectively.=20


            ''These people have so many strikes against them, and =
language is one of the big ones,'' she says. ''It is the foundation of =
so much of what we do. If we can help these mothers, we can improve =
their children's chances and their chances.''=20


            O'Neil-Pirozzi's interest in speech and language dates back =
to a high school career day in Amesbury where she grew up. She was =
thinking about a career in pharmacy but a pharmacist was off that day so =
she went along with a friend who wanted to be a teacher.=20


            ''I spent the day in the classroom with the speech =
pathologist,'' she says. ''I was watching someone who was passionate =
about helping children improve their speaking skills. I knew that was =
what I wanted to do. I didn't want to teach large groups of children. I =
wanted to work one-on-one.''=20


            O'Neil-Pirozzi, who is 43, pursued her interest through a =
bachelor's degree at Worcester State College, a master's from =
Northeastern, and a doctorate from Boston University.=20


            Along the way, she taught courses and did clinical work at a =
variety of places, including the Brookline schools, the Veterans Medical =
Center in Boston, Braintree Hospital, and the Spaulding Rehabilitation =
Hospital. She joined the Northeastern faculty full-time in September =
1997, and by December she and some of her students had started the story =
hour at the Sojourner shelter.=20


            Sojourner director Zimma Mercer-Drake says it has been a =
''positive piece for the shelter. ... Anything that fosters =
communication is positive. Parents are dealing with so much, welfare =
reform, housing. They don't get to spend as much quality time with their =
children as they'd like.''=20


            O'Neil-Pirozzi traces her commitment to community service =
back to her family where ''religion was an important part of life'' and =
her interest in the problems of the homeless to the outreach work of St. =
Ignatius Church in Newton where she and her husband are members. Her =
husband, Edward Pirozzi, teaches theology at Xaverian Brothers School in =
Westwood.=20


            The idea of combining her work with the homeless and her =
professional interest in speech pathology evolved slowly, she says.=20


            ''When I came to Northeastern full time, I wanted to blend =
my personal interests and my professional life,'' she says. ''I began to =
study the literature, and there was not very much research on speech =
problems among the homeless.''=20


            O'Neil-Pirozzi achknowledges that finding speech deficits =
among homeless mothers and children was not a surprise. But, she says, =
''What is common sense often needs to be documented. You need to prove =
there is a problem to get the funding to do something about it.''=20


            She hopes to use her initial research to get the funding and =
the cooperation of other departments at Northeastern, such as the school =
of education, to develop a comprehensive approach to homeless parents =
and children.=20


            ''I feel strongly that we need to offer more services to the =
moms so they can be better language models for the children and improve =
their own ability to find a job and stay employed,'' she says. ''I'd =
like to give it a try.''=20

           =20
            This story ran on page J5 of the Boston Globe on 4/30/2000.=20
            =A9 Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.=20


            [ Send this story to a friend | Easy-print version | Add to =
Daily User ]=20
            =20


------=_NextPart_000_005A_01BFB2A5.3EA03D20
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD W3 HTML//EN">






[ Send this story to a = friend |=20 Easy-print=20 version | Add to = Daily=20 User ]

Finding their=20 voices=20

Speech professor's project helps homeless = children=20

By Nina McCain, Globe=20 Correspondent, 4/30/2000

Terese O'Neil-Pirozzi is an assistant professor of=20 speech-language pathology at Northeastern University, but on = Thursday afternoons she becomes an alligator or a penguin or = any one=20 of a number of fanciful animals and human characters.=20

Thursday afternoon is when O'Neil-Pirozzi, an animated,=20 enthusiastic storyteller, and two or three of her students = visit the=20 Sojourner shelter for homeless families in Roxbury. For an = hour they=20 read, talk, and play with children whose families are living = there.=20

But this is not your ordinary story hour. O'Neil-Pirozzi = and her=20 students have a purpose beyond amusing and entertaining the=20 children. They are trying to encourage speech and language=20 development in children whose lives are, at least = temporarily,=20 fractured.=20

In a recent study that O'Neil-Pirozzi and 19 of her = students and=20 graduate students did of 25 mothers and 29 preschool = children living=20 in shelters in Boston and Rhode Island, they found that 76 = percent=20 of both mothers and children had speech-language problems = such as=20 difficulty in repeating a sentence or explaining what they = read.=20

Compared to the families' overwhelming problems with = basics like=20 food and shelter, difficulties with language might seem = minor at=20 best.=20

But O'Neil-Pirozzi believes that the children's future = success in=20 school and the mothers' abilities to find and keep jobs to = support=20 their families depends in no small part on being able to = speak=20 effectively.=20

''These people have so many strikes against them, and = language is=20 one of the big ones,'' she says. ''It is the foundation of = so much=20 of what we do. If we can help these mothers, we can improve = their=20 children's chances and their chances.''=20

O'Neil-Pirozzi's interest in speech and language dates = back to a=20 high school career day in Amesbury where she grew up. She = was=20 thinking about a career in pharmacy but a pharmacist was off = that=20 day so she went along with a friend who wanted to be a = teacher.=20

''I spent the day in the classroom with the speech = pathologist,''=20 she says. ''I was watching someone who was passionate about = helping=20 children improve their speaking skills. I knew that was what = I=20 wanted to do. I didn't want to teach large groups of = children. I=20 wanted to work one-on-one.''=20

O'Neil-Pirozzi, who is 43, pursued her interest through a = bachelor's degree at Worcester State College, a master's = from=20 Northeastern, and a doctorate from Boston University.=20

Along the way, she taught courses and did clinical work = at a=20 variety of places, including the Brookline schools, the = Veterans=20 Medical Center in Boston, Braintree Hospital, and the = Spaulding=20 Rehabilitation Hospital. She joined the Northeastern faculty = full-time in September 1997, and by December she and some of = her=20 students had started the story hour at the Sojourner = shelter.=20

Sojourner director Zimma Mercer-Drake says it has been a=20 ''positive piece for the shelter. ... Anything that fosters=20 communication is positive. Parents are dealing with so much, = welfare=20 reform, housing. They don't get to spend as much quality = time with=20 their children as they'd like.''=20

O'Neil-Pirozzi traces her commitment to community service = back to=20 her family where ''religion was an important part of life'' = and her=20 interest in the problems of the homeless to the outreach = work of St.=20 Ignatius Church in Newton where she and her husband are = members. Her=20 husband, Edward Pirozzi, teaches theology at Xaverian = Brothers=20 School in Westwood.=20

The idea of combining her work with the homeless and her=20 professional interest in speech pathology evolved slowly, = she says.=20

''When I came to Northeastern full time, I wanted to = blend my=20 personal interests and my professional life,'' she says. ''I = began=20 to study the literature, and there was not very much = research on=20 speech problems among the homeless.''=20

O'Neil-Pirozzi achknowledges that finding speech deficits = among=20 homeless mothers and children was not a surprise. But, she = says,=20 ''What is common sense often needs to be documented. You = need to=20 prove there is a problem to get the funding to do something = about=20 it.''=20

She hopes to use her initial research to get the funding = and the=20 cooperation of other departments at Northeastern, such as = the school=20 of education, to develop a comprehensive approach to = homeless=20 parents and children.=20

''I feel strongly that we need to offer more services to = the moms=20 so they can be better language models for the children and = improve=20 their own ability to find a job and stay employed,'' she = says. ''I'd=20 like to give it a try.''=20

This story ran on page J5 of the Boston = Globe on=20 4/30/2000.
© Copyright=20 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.

[ Send this story to a = friend |=20 Easy-print=20 version | Add to = Daily=20 User ]

------=_NextPart_000_005A_01BFB2A5.3EA03D20--