Global Motherhood Unites Mothers Around The World #InspireCare #Latism

These photos represent a few of the many programs supported by Johnson & Johnson and its partner organizations to serve the health and well-being needs of communities and people around the world.   To read more about these programs and others that help us care for those in need, please visit our website:http://www.jnj.com/connect/caring/.     Being a mother is the most important role that I have.  At the end of my life, I want to be remembered for having been a good mother above all of my other accomplishments.  Most of us have had women in our lives who nurtured us and taught us the meaning of "motherhood."  In most Latino homes, grandmothers are not only the matriarchs of the family but also some of the first women who teach us what being a good mother is all about.  My situation is no different.     My paternal grandmother raised me during a time when my mother was incapable of handling the responsibility.  I have always affectionately referred to her as "Tata" and she has … [Read more...]

Make Your Voice Be Heard This Election! #WeDecide

    I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher.  From as far back as I could remember, my family taught me the importance of getting a good education.  They shared with me details about the various doors that would be opened to me by having a good education.  I vowed then and there that, not only would I always strive to further my own education but that I would also do everything in my power to make education accessible to others.     Unfortunately, education has been denied historically to groups of people for a variety of reasons including religion, race, cultural background, and even socioeconomic status.  Although we have made much progress in this area, there is still a significant difference in the numbers of minority students who are graduating from High School in comparison to other ethnic groups.  As a matter of fact, 41% of Latino students and 23% of African American students DO NOT graduate from High School.*     There are many reasons for this such as the fact … [Read more...]

Stiletto Media’s Kick Off Your Heels 12′ Party Recap #SMLatinas

    As many of you already know, I have proudly been blogging as a member of Stiletto Media for quite some time.  I'm proud to be a part of such an amazing and talented group of Latinas and we also know how to get together and have a great time!  This year I was invited to attend Kick Off Your Heels 12' which was a held on August 2, 2012 from 6-8 P.M. It was hosted by Stiletto Media at Pio Pio Peruvian Restaurant which is located at 604 10th Ave. between 43rd and 44th Streets in New York City.     This event allowed all of us to network with one another and to strengthen our already wonderful relationships while enjoying Latin cuisine and sangria.  I cannot even begin to explain to you all how rewarding it was to enjoy this celebratory time with my colleagues in an informal environment without the pressure of professional deadlines or time constraints.     I felt like a VIP as I walked to the back of the restaurant and descended a staircase laden with tea candles on every … [Read more...]

Plaza Familia is Dedicated to Supporting Bilingual Families!

         It is with great excitement that I introduce you to the new blog and print magazine dedicated to bilingual families.  I will be contributing a weekly post from the middle school educator perspective along with some of your favorite bilingual bloggers, writers, and educators.      The purpose of Plaza Familia is to educate the Hispanic community living in the United States on the resources that are available in order to empower them to advocate on their children's behalf academically.  We find that informed parents make better decisions about how to support their children within a scholastic environment.     Although the blog and magazine are geared towards the Latin community, the information that is being shared can be useful to all parents.  All of us who are lending our expertise to the project are parents and educators who are thoroughly invested in seeing children succeed and bridging the gap between the community and the local school.     We would greatly … [Read more...]

Celebrate Children’s Day!

There are many traditions that we value from our childhoods that still resonate with us as adults.  Especially when those memories were good ones, we reminisce about them fondly and try to share these experiences with our children as parents.  Having lived in Spain until the age of 8 and then New York City up until now, I have had the privilege of celebrating and sharing in a variety of traditions.  One particular tradition that I have happy memories of is Children's Day. Children's Day is a traditional  holiday that is celebrated throughout the world on various days.  It is especially popular in many Latin American countries.  In Mexico, it is celebrated on April 30th.  The meaning behind this holiday is setting aside a special day to recognize the importance of children and the role that they play in society.  We can all agree that children are very important in society and they bring a lot of joy and love to their families as well as others who come in contact with them … [Read more...]

Improving Latino Graduation Rates Through Parental Involvement

As an educator, I cannot even begin to stress the importance of parental involvement to a child's academic success.  This is especially true for Latino students who face a myriad of unique obstacles that are not faced by other students.  At the forefront of some of these obstacles is the language barrier that some of them struggle with due to not having a command of the English language.  They are often caught between speaking Spanish at home to their family and attempting to become fluent in a second language at school. Sometimes Latino parents are discouraged from taking part in their child's academic progress because language barriers and social class issues prevent them from having the confidence to be proactive in their education.  Schools need to adopt more flexible academic programs that take into account the diversity of the communities that they are servicing.  This will open many doors for those children who have parents that are not able to expose them to traditional … [Read more...]

Let’s Talk About Race

       A few days ago, I was speaking to someone on Twitter who shared with me that a close friend of hers had referred to her daughter using a racial epitaph.  Her daughter is biracial and her friend made the comment in jest and thought it was really funny and witty.  I would rather not repeat the comment that she made, however, I think that it is important that you see exactly what she said so you can understand why it is so shocking.  This "friend" actually referred to her daughter as a "nigglet."  I'm sure you are as appalled as I was when I first read that she had the nerve to say this.     I can connect to this, unfortunately.  My husband has brown skin as he is of Cuban and Jamaican descent.  My children are light skinned and have light eyes like me.  We are raising our boys not to see skin color but it is really hard when people in society are so ignorant and biased.  There have been many times when strangers have made comments about how surprised they were that my … [Read more...]