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"Nuestros Niños" Award to Recognize Latino Educators


Newark, New Jersey—Seven distinguished educators will be recognized for their lifetime dedication to public education in New Jersey. The “Nuestros Niños” awards will be granted during the lunch session of the Latino Parents Education Conference which will be held on Thursday, May 24, 2007 at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison.

“We are very happy to recognize the work these individuals have done for at least the past twenty years on behalf of our children. By their dedication, work ethic, and passion to the cause of public education, they have distinguished themselves in their chosen professions, and we want to publicly acknowledge them”, stated Bill Colón, President and CEO of The Latino Institute, the host organization of the conference.

The distinguished recipients are: Pablo Muñoz, Elizabeth’s Superintendent of Schools; Dr. Vivian Rodriguez, Assistant Dean of Education, Kean University; Jenaro Rivas, Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Jersey City; Maria Laboy, Supervisor of Instruction at the Vineland Public Schools; Luis Pagan, Assistant Superintendent in Camden; Lydia Silva, Assistant Superintendent in Newark; and Joseph Ferraina, Superintendent of Schools in Long Branch.

Jenaro Rivas, when informed of the award stated: “As parents and educators most of us seldom look behind to see what we have done, as there is still so much to do before us. Therefore, when the community acknowledges our work, it is the greatest honor.”

The annual Latino Parents Education Conference convenes over 500 parents, teachers and community members and is part of the Latino Issues Convention and Business Exposition, which will be held at the convention center, May 24-26, 2007.
The convention includes the education conference, a job fair, the National Latino Folkloric Dance Competition, a national seminar of health care reform hosted by the AARP, the largest indoor Latino consumer show in the tri-state area, and a college fair.

For additional information about the event, and registration for the conference or the “Nuestros Niños” Luncheon, please contact Ms. Carmen Torres at 973-481-2522 or visit the conference web site at www.latinoinstitute.net.

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About The Latino Institute:
The Latino Institute is a private, non-profit, charitable organization. Our mission is to serve as a bridge between the Latino community, and the educational, cultural, governmental, social and economic institutions of society by providing accurate, factual, and timely information on the barriers and challenges affecting the education, growth, development and well-being of that community and by developing, recommending, and advocating solutions and actions which may serve as a catalyst for change.

Our particular interest is educational achievement for Latinos throughout the educational continuum and the promotion of Latino culture in America. We believe, as many reasonable people believe, that educational achievement is the key to success in life. At the same time, we believe in respecting, fostering and promoting the Latino cultural heritage, especially amongst our young, as part of the development of Latinos everywhere. In the educational pathway, we are uniquely interested in college retention issues and the promotion of college Latino students towards graduate schools, Ph.D. programs and the professions.

We promote these tenets through major events, conference, seminars, lectures, performances, programs, and other activities.

For additional information:
William Colón at williamcolon@optonline.net or at 973-481-2522

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