Maria Urquides’ Hispanic background made her the ideal teacher for Arizona’s bilingual schools, although she readily admitted she might go to hell for being ordered to punish students for speaking Spanish in the classroom. She stepped on more than a few administrative toes to attain her goal of promoting bilingual/bicultural education to children of all backgrounds.
Urquides was a driving force in encouraging passage of the 1968 Bilingual Education Act which provides federal funds for students with limited English-speaking abilities. While the Act encouraged instruction in English, it also promoted multicultural awareness. Five U.S. Presidents appointed Urquides to national panels and conferences for children and education. She was a woman who made a definitive difference in the education of children of all races and ethnicities and is credited with being the single most effective force behind the implementation of bilingual education across the country.
This program is cohosted by Pima County Public Library – Oro Valley Library Branch.
About the speaker:
Award-winning author, historian, and lecturer Jan Cleere writes extensively about the desert southwest, particularly the people who first settled the territory. Magna cum laude graduate of ASU West with a degree is American Studies, Cleere is the author of six
historical nonfiction books about the people who first ventured west. She lectures around the state about early pioneers who were instrumental in colonizing and civilizing Arizona Territory. For over nine years, Jan has written a monthly column for Tucson’s Arizona
Daily Star newspaper — “Western Women” detailing the lives of Arizona’s early amazing women.