Johana Rodriguez Quist Hired as Family Literacy Program Director
The Literacy Center of West Michigan is pleased to announce Johana Rodriguez Quist as the new director of its Family Literacy Program, a program that strengthens the connection between home and school by addressing the literacy needs of adults in children’s lives.
“Our Family Literacy Program aligns parents’ education with what their children are learning in the classroom,” said Dr. Wendy Falb, executive director of the Literacy Center of West Michigan. “Johana’s experience supporting parents in the public schools gives her a deep understanding of the need for teaching parents the language skills necessary to break the generational cycle of low literacy.”
Rodriguez Quist was born in Puerto Rico and educated in the United States. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and her teaching certification and Master of Science/Arts in Education from Aquinas College. She is currently pursuing her Educational Leadership Certification from the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals.
“My vision for the Family Literacy Program is to build parents’ confidence to speak up for their child. Often parents don’t get involved because of the language and culture barriers,” says Rodriguez Quist. “In addition to teaching parents how to communicate in English, I hope to partner with schools to identify reading strategies parents and children can do together to strengthen the reading culture at home. Parents can’t do what they don’t know. Once they realize their learning impacts their child’s learning, they are empowered.”
For the last four years, Rodriguez Quist served as the community-school coordinator at Burton Elementary School where she regularly brought in resources to support parents.
“I have seen first-hand how learning to read and write is empowering for parents who never finished their own schooling,” said Rodriguez Quist. “Parents [at Burton Elementary School] were always asking for the next English classes because they knew this skill was important and would help them and their family.”