We are pleased to announce the hire of Miguelina Quiñones as the new director of our Family Literacy Program (FLP), a program that strengthens the connection between home and school by addressing the literacy needs of adults in children’s lives.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Miguelina has been a classroom teacher and school administer for 20 years. She earned her B.A. from Herbert H. Lehman College and M.A. from College of New Rochelle, and is certified in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
“Research shows that the number one indicator of a child’s success in school is the education level of his or her parents. The Family Literacy Program helps align parents’ education with that of their children in the classroom,” said Dr. Wendy Falb, executive director of the Literacy Center of West Michigan. “Miguelina's extensive experience teaching English as a second language will help teach parents the literacy and language skills needed to break the generational cycle of low literacy.”
In addition to the four hours of English instruction each week, families participating in the FLP are invited to attend monthly family activity nights where they share a meal and learn a literacy activity together that can be replicated at home. The FLP operates in 12 sites in Grand Rapids Public Schools and Godwin Heights Public Schools, serving more than 200 parents annually.
“I have a deep passion for education and the issue of literacy is personal for me,” said Miguelina Quiñones. “When I arrived in the United States I did not speak English. However, through my work, I have become a strong advocate for English language learners.”
Miguelina immigrated to the United States as a teenager in 1986 and attended high school and college in New York City. She has lived in Michigan for 15 years and has served as a teacher and adjunct professor at Aquinas College and Grand Valley State University, and assistant principal in Grand Rapids Public Schools. Most recently, she started the Kentwood Public Schools’ Newcomers Program for students who have been in the United States for less than a year. She has also taught a classroom of K-2 students who spoke 20 different languages and dialects.