It is no secret that there is a special needs epidemic sweeping through our country. In 2013–14, the number of children and youth ages 3–21 receiving special education services was 6.5 million, or about 13 percent of all public school students, and it has only increased since then. Parents, educators and communities need to rally together to help these kids become successful, lifelong learners, both at home, at school, and in life. At Whole Learning, we offer programs and services that do just that.
Our coaching and and home education services help support parents and their children with learning challenges and special needs. Our workshops, training sessions and consulting services aim to help communities develop engaging and appropriate programming that spans everything from athletics, to academic pursuits and the arts.
At Whole Learning, we believe that every child deserves to succeed and discover the joy of learning, and we are passionate about helping parents and communities learn how to realize this goal.
“Danielle gives you multiple ways to do the problem so you find he way you feel comfortable with. She’s a really good teacher”
- Catherine E., mom of third grader in Maplewood, NJ
From Danielle Perrotta, Founder
My passion for education started when I volunteered with New York Cares to be a field trip guide for elementary school students in Brooklyn. It was exciting for me to have conversations with kids - I wanted to understand their perspectives, their interests, and how they saw themselves in the world. To my surprise, they had strong opinions about politics, their school experiences and plans on how to improve their lives - and their ideas were creative and applicable. It’s been almost 20 years since that first volunteer experience and I didn’t realize at the time that engaging with children would ignite a passion and calling to become an educator.
I moved into education from advertising and my marketing skills served me well. I started “selling” the importance of fractions, creating posters that demonstrated ideas for word variety, and producing talent shows to fundraise for field trips. I collaborated with students to create projects that were engaging and provided skill practice. From creating a budget for a dinner party to designing a historical village based on Colonial times to guiding independent study of the students’ own interests, I was intent on helping students become independent thinkers and learners. And it was fun! Seeing their “aha” moments when they mastered a new math strategy or the pride on their faces while presenting to their classmates.
In 2008, I started taking classes in Applied Behavior Analysis in order to learn more about special needs, behavioral psychology, and how to provide positive support to students struggling academically and behaviorally. Each year, I taught students with 504s and IEPs, increasing my knowledge about modifications, trying out different modalities of teaching, and providing social and emotional support to kids in both their school and home environments.
In 2015, I learned that my child had several medical and educational needs. Navigating the educational system from the parent side and getting the support of experts in the field was an invaluable experience. I attended meetings, support groups, and started attending parent-teacher organization events in our town. As a Special Education Parent Liaison in my school district, I continue to work help families by paying it forward and mentoring families.
I began to tutor students after school and eventually transitioned to full-time tutoring and consulting. With each child, I assess his or her skills and use strategies that can help them understand the content of the curriculum. Utilizing hands-on manipulatives, graphic organizers, bar modeling, and oral repetition has been helpful to provide support when re-teaching or pre-teaching topics. I am in contact with the student’s teacher(s) and suggest modifications in the classroom or for homework. I am eager to share ideas that support students, families and educators, but I am also interested in learning and growing as a teacher and individual.
I love teaching students and helping families. It is so powerful to have an educator who can deeply understand your child, their learning style, and how to make the education more positive and rewarding. I look forward to getting to know your child and help you have an amazing academic experience.
Better learning for all
A world in which all children can become joyful, lifelong, successful learners