Jennifer Morris, a Springfield resident who teaches English as a Second Language at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School in Kensington, has received the National Liberty Museum’s Teacher as Hero Award, writes Peg DeGrassa for the Daily Times.
Morris was among 10 educators from four different states honored with the award.
Concerned that the Hispanic students in her school lacked a cultural connection to the school, she added cultural elements into daily activities.
The K-12 teacher conducted part of the daily announcements in Spanish. Morris created a month-long Hispanic Heritage Month, a Hispanic Heritage Career Expo and a Carnival De Bethune, where students enjoyed food, games, crafts and a student-made Heritage Museum.
“The inspiration for this project was the voices of my students. The great success of this project helps me to continue to focus on student identity, diversity and equity. Our students deserve an education that celebrates their cultural identities and experiences,” Morris said.
She said that all but one of her English as a Second Language students come from Spanish speaking households, many new to the United States.
Morris grew up in Cheltenham Township. She spent her first year of teaching in Beijing, China.
Read more about Jennifer Morris at the Daily Times.
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