Benicia Hernandez has volunteered at the Jones Magnet Elementary School for the past 3 years. The Jones Elementary School is an immersion school, where children of English speaking families learn all school subjects in Spanish. This is a real challenge for many of the students who have never had any contact with the language before. From day one, the children are taught everything in Spanish. Benicia, a native of Cuba and former teacher, volunteers at the school every day. She works with parents, teachers, and children, primarily those in the second grade, with their school studies.
The parents of the children at Jones Magnet Elementary School have continually commented on Benicia Hernandez and how she has helped their children, not only with their language schools but also with the difficult challenges of immersing into the program. The children do not speak Spanish and many of them feel frustrated and alone when first arriving to the school. Benicia is able to help those children that need one-on-one attention as they immerse themselves into the school program.
For the teachers at Jones Magnet, Benicia is a tremendous resource for language and culture. She is able to show her love of the Spanish culture as she develops beautiful art to add to the ambiance of the school and individual classrooms. Within the school, there are several programs and opportunities to participate in cultural events. Benicia continually makes costumes for the children in performances. She uses whatever is available to make the costumes and involves the children in whatever way that she is capable.
Benicia is dedicated to the children at Jones Magnet Elementary. She has the ability to change the attitudes of the children. As she spends times with others, she helps them develop their own self-esteem as well as see the good in diversity. She believes that any and every child will do well within the program. Benicia has been described as a volunteer who cares about education, cares about children and cares about the future.