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She Helps Latino Grandparents Bridge Cultural, Generation Gaps

April 11, 1993|CHRISTINA V. GODBEY

Despite strong family ties, Latino grandparents and grandchildren in the United States can sometimes have a difficult time spanning the chasm between generations.

Dalia Quinones, keenly aware of these problems, is trying to make a difference in the community. Last year, the West Los Angeles resident began teaching "Grandparenting for Spanish-Speaking Seniors" at Santa Monica College. Quinones said the course is intended to help ease the confusion often faced by Latino grandparents and to take advantage of the honored place they hold in traditional families.

"I noticed that the Hispanic population has a poor number of students graduating from high schools and colleges. . . . It's somewhere around 55%," she said. "I wanted do something about this situation because grandparents still get involved with the education of their grandchildren."

With the support of the school's Emeritus College, Quinones created a class tailored to the needs of these non-English-speaking senior citizens. She said she spends a great deal of time discussing issues such as gangs, drugs and pregnancy, with particular emphasis on how the school system works.

"They are frustrated," Quinones said. "What I mainly talk about is what they should do to prevent their grandchildren from dropping out, how to help their grandchildren to be good students and not get involved in gangs."

Quinones also provides advice on how to obtain scholarships and financial aid. She said many of her students don't have any idea how to help their children and grandchildren continue their studies after high school.

"I understand the problems of these people," said the mother of three. "I have the same problems."

The class is free and meets on Monday evenings at Santa Monica High School.

A native of Peru whose ancestors are from Japan, Quinones received a teaching credential in philosophy and social science from San Marco University before doing graduate work in psychology and linguistics at Universidad Femeninadel Sagrado Corazon. She came to Los Angeles 17 years ago, and she has taught Spanish to Los Angeles Unified School District teachers and for the Santa Monica Parks and Recreation Department.

Besides teaching the senior citizen class, Quinones plans to start teaching an English-language class through Wise Senior Services.

"I think that's important to reach some of these people," she said. "We want (Latino) senior citizens to become independent and be able to read and write (in English)."


Attorney Francis Maas has been named chairman of the board of the University of Judaism.

Maas, a native of Los Angeles, has served as assistant treasurer of the university and chairman of the budget committee. He is also vice president of the Jewish Federation Council of Los Angeles and has been a board member of the Beverly Hills Education Foundation. He succeeds Jack Ostrow, who will retire in June after 25 years as chairman.


The 12th annual USC Academic Honors Convocation honored numerous Westside residents for excellence and achievement in teaching.

Award winners were Santa Monica residents Michael Dear and Elaine Draper, Los Angeles residents Joseph Aoun, Geddes MacGregor, Eric Eisenberg and Pacific Palisades resident Emery Stoops.

Los Angeles resident Nikolai Hartz received a Phi Kappa Phi student achievement award.

The ceremony was held March 9 on the USC campus in Los Angeles.


Venice resident J.B. Gallegos has been selected as chairman of the 1993 Annual Christmas Boat Parade by the Pioneer Skippers' board of directors.

Gallegos will oversee seven committees for the boat parade, held in Marina del Rey each December. Last year, he chaired the planning, production committees and co-chaired the entrants committee.


Robert and Miriam Kinsey of Pacific Palisades recently donated more than 500 rare books to Loyola Marymount University.

The couple gave books on Japanese art, theater, culture, history and garden design that date from 1856.

The collection reflects the couple's 48-year passion for Japanese art and books, which began shortly after World War II. The books will be placed in the general and special collections department at the university.

Mail items to People Column, Suite 200, 1717 4th St., Santa Monica, Calif. 90401.

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