New bilingual column coming

By Jeremy Oster
Staff Writer

Today in the stateline area, if you speak English, you can go to the grocery store or the gas station and pick up a free newspaper like The Rock River Times and read interesting articles about local news and events. Today in the stateline area, if you speak Spanish, you can pick up a free newspaper like El Tiempo and read interesting national news articles concerning what’s going on in the Hispanic community.

Starting next week, whether you speak English or Spanish, you will be able to pick up The Rock River Times and read a bilingual Latino interest column that directly relates to your local community.

Why print a bilingual column? These Latino interest articles are meant to reach the whole of the community, no matter what language you speak or read. In some families, children speak and read English more fluently, while their parents or grandparents who live in the same home are more comfortable reading in Spanish. A bilingual article can be picked up by anyone in the home and be read. While blogs and online articles are a wonderful way to disseminate information, consider reaching a large community using a free newspaper distributed at more than 2,500 local businesses.

So, what are these articles going to be about, and who will be writing them? There are four primary topics that will be covered in this series of articles. The topics each month will be written by team members important to the Hispanic community, including the topics: La Voz Latina, the Coalition of Latino Leaders, immigration, and an occasional “hot topic” article regarding important up-to-the-minute local news and issues.

In 1984, the United Way provided funds to initiate what has become La Voz Latina, an important local Hispanic resource center in Rockford. La Voz Latina Director Luz Ramirez and her team will be writing one of these monthly articles.

Founded Jan. 23, 2012, the Coalition of Latino Leaders meets monthly in Rockford to “enhance communication and trust between the Latino community and other entities.” Committees within the Coalition of Latino Leaders include business, communication, education, entertainment, immigration, politics and public safety. Coalition member Rudy Valdez will direct the Coalition’s monthly article.

Discussing immigration is enhanced by the firsthand knowledge and experience from a lawyer who comes in contact with family immigration issues on a daily basis. Attorney Sara Dady of Dady and Hoffmann, LLC, Immigration and Nationality Law located here in Rockford, has been working in this field since 2005. Dady will pen an article each month and provide other viewpoints and expertise on immigration.

The Rock River Times hopes that this new column makes important information more easily accessible to the Latino community. We also hope to connect non-Spanish-speaking people with new ideas and the concerns and activities of the Latino brothers and sisters with whom we share this community. We are all a part of the same community, and facilitating linguistic opportunities brings another step toward understanding each other.

From the Dec. 31, 2014-Jan. 6, 2015, issue

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