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Professor Manuel Hernández
Essays Collection

Address: : 2012 Ernest St. Kissimmee, Florida 34741

Manuel Hernandez was born in Sleepy Hollow, New York in 1963. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus and finished a Master�s in Education from Herbert H. Lehman College (CUNY) in the Bronx in 1994. He has coordinated symposiums, produced and coordinated television interviews on the literature written by Puerto Rican and Latino/a writers from the Diaspora. He has done numerous presentations, workshops and seminars on how to integrate latino/a literature in the English classroom. In 2014, he participated in a TedxTalk (Connections) at Southern New Hampshire University. He is the author of three books, , Latino/a Literature in the English Classroom (Editorial Plaza Mayor, 2003), The Birth of a Rican (Imprenta Sifre. 2008) and Living the Kingdom with purpose (Imprenta Sifre, 2013). He is a Language Arts teacher at Osceola School District in Florida.

Latinos are Entitled to a Better and Improved Quality Education
By Manuel Hernandez-Carmona copyright
(Professor of English at the University of Phoenix PR Campus and English Program Facilitator for the Fajardo School District)

Latinos are entitled to receive a better and improved quality education. There is an unrecognizable "cultural difference problem" (Models of Teaching, p.413) in America today. The Latino school population continues to grow at unprecedented levels, but their precise and existing academic needs are not fully being encountered. The learning styles of Latino children are tied to individual differences and cultural diversity. Curriculum development should find reading approaches to bridge the gap every classroom day not only during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Why not create bridges of literary analysis to enhance identity and pave the way for the development of literacy by integrating culturally relevant literature and the discussion of culturally related issues? A mirror of the people will not only create cultural awareness but boost reading comprehension and provide the gateway to further literary analysis, and the academic development needed to pass citywide, statewide and educational testing requirements.

A half a century ago Martin Luther King recognized that America needed to transform its mindset. Just a few decades before MLK, Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you must see in the world.” Today we are moving forward and racial equality has come a long way. An improved and better prepared curriculum is the mirror of that mindset, but there are "miles to go" before we sleep. With the Administration's recent legislative stand on immigration, millions of more Latinos will enroll in the American public school system in the up and coming years. Central Florida has become a Puerto Rico away from the Island. Are we ready and willing to receive the “new found students” in the classroom?

All Americans are entitled to a quality education, no doubt. But the growing and culturally diversified Latino school population has been stalled by an educational system that has yet to define a vision on how to specifically meet their demands. Equal rights and equal opportunities can only be achieved with a quality education. Latino education is a dream, but a focused, driven and guided education can really make a difference in a child, family, community, city and a nation.