Nonprofit hires program director
An organization focused on teaching literacy skills to English language learners has hired a new program director.
The Literacy Center of West Michigan announced that it has hired Miguelina Quiñones as director of its Family Literacy Program (FLP), which is designed to strengthen the connection between home and school by addressing the literacy needs of adults in children’s lives.
“Research shows that the No. 1 indicator of a child’s success in school is the education level of his or her parents,” said Wendy Falb, executive director of the Literacy Center of West Michigan.
“The Family Literacy Program helps align parents’ education with that of their children in the classroom. Miguelina Quiñones’ 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.”
Quiñones, who immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager in 1986 from the Dominican Republic, said she has “a deep passion” for the mission of the program.
“When I arrived in the United States, I did not speak any English,” she said. “However, through my work, I have become a strong advocate for English language learners.”
A classroom teacher and school administer for 20 years, Quiñones earned her B.A. from Herbert H. Lehman College and M.A. from College of New Rochelle in New York. She is certified in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
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 as an assistant principal in Grand Rapids Public Schools.
Most recently, she started the Kentwood Public Schools’ Newcomers Program for students who have been in the U.S. for less than a year. She also has taught a classroom of K-2 students who spoke 20 different languages and dialects.
Family Literacy Program
The FLP operates in 12 sites in Grand Rapids Public Schools and Godwin Heights Public Schools, serving more than 200 parents annually.
In addition to four hours of English instruction each week, families participating in the FLP may attend monthly family activity nights to share a meal and learn a literacy activity together that can be replicated at home.
Literacy Center of West Michigan
Founded in 1986, the Literacy Center of West Michigan is committed to bringing about a just and vibrant West Michigan through the power of literacy.
The center works with adults who are native speakers and English language learners reading below a ninth-grade level who want to improve their literacy.
The Literacy Center served 757 adults in the 2016-17 program year with the help of almost 300 volunteers.