Jubilee official in Brownsville named Educator of the Yeardfwnewsa | January 10, 2024 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News
In a surprise recognition ceremony on Tuesday, Yesenia Gonzalez, the 21st Century district director for Jubilee Leadership Academies, was named the Arly Impact/BellXcel Educator of the Year.
Gonzalez was the overwhelming choice for the award, BellXcel CEO Lauren Sanchez Gilbert said after the ceremony, held in the Jubilee gymnasium at 1025 Main St. in Brownsville.
BellXcel created the award to recognize outstanding individuals engaged with youth programs nationwide and celebrate their pursuit to help children reach their full potential, Sanchez Gilbert said.
Although the ceremony was a surprise, Gonzalez said she had a feeling something was up after seeing her parents and regional Jubilee officials assembled in the gymnasium.
“A lot of our students can’t go home because their parents are working and so we provide them a safe place to stay after school with academic alignment with what they’re learning during the day, and enrichment activities in the 2-3 hours that they’re with us,” Gonzalez said of the Texas Afterschool Centers, administered through a 21st Century grant.
“When the last bell rings, Texas ACE is just getting started with no-cost after-school activities for any student attending a participating K–12 school. Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) is a national program funded through 21st Century Community Learning Centers. The state-level Texas ACE program is administered and monitored by Texas Education Agency (TEA), which also offers robust training, technical assistance, and other resources for grantees,” Texas ACE said in a statement.
Its programs aim to improve academic performance/grades, school attendance, positive behavior, and student engagement by providing students with a safe place to go during non-school hours for extended learning and enrichment activities. The program serves students in Title 1 schools who otherwise would not have such opportunities, the statement said.
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