A busy weekend…

This past Thursday the Hernández hosted an incredibly successful Math Night! We had a great turn out from families, beautiful decoration from teachers, and lots of excited kids! Check out the pictures on our Facebook and Instagram, or looks below for a couple of our favorite shots:

Additionally, this Saturday, Hernández kids and staff represented at the Sole Train 5K. They had a blast running in the beautiful sunshine. Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support them!

Grand Opening of the Blanca Burgos Writers Room!

On Thursday, October 10th, in our school’s auditorium, the Hernandez celebrated the grand opening of our Blanca Burgos Writers Room, run by youth publishing company 826 Boston and supported by HASP. The event focused on the effort it took to get this writer’s room off the ground, the new partnership between 826 Boston and Friends of the Hernandez, and the legacy of Blanca Burgos, a valued educator at our school who passed away in 2017. 

The money for the writer’s room was raised through the valiant efforts of the Burgos Family, who started fundraising for a place where children could improve their reading and writing skills in Spanish and English after Blanca’s death. This project also found support in our administration. Ana Tavares, a past Hernandez Principal, greenlit the project and while our new principal, Carolina Brito saw the plans through to their completion. Their dedication to this project makes sense in light of the vital part Blanca Burgos played in the lives of Hernandez students. 

Her love of learning, language, and the students she taught was a constant theme throughout the October 10th event. Several of her past students were in the audience, including Cynthia Lopez, who now works with 826 Boston in our writer’s room and was a long-time staff member in HASP. In turn, a new generation of teachers and writers were celebrated when Joshua read a poem in Spanish. and Leinad read a poem about the political control of female bodies. The event also had heartfelt words from the Burgos family including Michelle Burgos, Blanca’s daughter, who is our Leader of Teaching and Learning here at the Hernandez.

 

All in all the event made it clear that Burgos’ memory lives on in the words and deeds of her students. The impact that teachers can have on their students is the reason our school fought for the Blanca Burgos Writer’s Room across administration change and lack of funds. It is the reason that teachers come to the Hernandez every day ready to mold young minds. Come and visit the room any time, located on the ground floor next to the lunchroom!

What’s New in Our Garden…

For the past six weeks teachers Karina Herrera and Carol Perez have steadily begun re-vitalizing the Hernandez Garden Program, planting a garden in raised beds found in a courtyard at the center of our school.

With this garden, Herrera and Perez hope to instill a love of nature in their classes, while additionally producing healthy vegetables for use in our school and community. The garden can also serve as a place for all nature lovers at the Hernandez to gather, perhaps someday as an outdoor classroom to create experiential learning opportunities for our students.

The project began with Herrera and her class removing trash and weeds that had encroached upon the space, making it looked distinctly dis-used and removing much-needed nutrients from previously planted vegetables. 

After removing the weeds, students helped plant a rosebush, basil, and a variety of other herbs and flowers in the garden. They planted vegetable seeds in black plastic containers, eventually transplanting them into the main raised beds with Herrera’s help. 

Future plans for the garden include repainting the planters, acquiring benches, and adding pops of gold paint to cracks in the pavement of the courtyard. Come spring, the students will harvest the crop they started in the fall, and plant an even more diverse array of vegetables the community can utilize in the summer.

Hernández featured in beautiful video about Second Step program

Students, teachers, and administrators from Rafael Hernández K–8 School give real accounts about the positive impact of the Second Step Program. Hear stories about strong student-teacher relationships and SEL spreading beyond the classroom as Boston Public Schools rolled out a Comprehensive Behavioral Health Model to all 125 schools in the district, using the Second Step Program as the universal social-emotional learning curriculum. Check it out!

Schoolyard Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Celebrates Student Leadership

Our March 29 Schoolyard Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony was an incredible celebration of student leadership. The entire class of 2017 — now 9th graders at high schools around the city — returned for the celebration. Two of the students joined Principal Ana Tavares, Mayor Marty Walsh, BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang, and teacher Jess Madden-Fuoco on the stage, addressing the crowd to tell the story of the schoolyard and the work they put into the renovation and fundraising campaign.

Boston Globe: A dream come true, new playground opens at Roxbury school

The Boston Globe covered the opening of our schoolyard this week! They write:

As a sea of colorful streamers and cheering children flooded the new $1.25 million playground at the Rafael Hernandez K-8 Dual Language School in Roxbury, a group of former students watched and smiled with pride.

Three years ago, the ninth graders led the effort to replace their old, broken playground with a colorful, challenging new one. There’s a ropes course, a paved four-square area and turf-covered green space, among other features.

On Thursday, the former students joined Mayor Martin J. Walsh and other officials to cut a big, red ribbon on the playground they helped to plan, design and raise money for.

Read the article on the Boston Globe website.