Florham Park Teacher Helps Student Experience Mets Dream Day


FLORHAM PARK, NJ- Briarwood School’s own Lauren Canales and Benjamin Jiminez were presented with the Over and Bee-yond Award at the recent Florham Park Board of Education Meeting.

Jiminez was recently selected to participate in a dream day that was put on by the SNY Network. The young Mets fan spent a whole day at Mets Stadium where he toured the locker room and met all of the players. Leaving with an armful of fresh autographs, Jiminez was treated to an on-the-field view of batting practice and was able to stay and watch the game that the Mets played later that day.

This incredible day would not have been possible for this young man without the help of a very special teacher.

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“I have had the pleasure of knowing Ben since he was in preschool,” Canales said. “Since then, I have seen him wear Mets sunglasses, Mets glasses, Mets sneakers, everything was all about the Mets. Even in math class, when he would see the number 33, the number of popular Mets Pitcher, Matt Harvey, he’d go “Matt Harvey!” I come from a strong baseball family and I wanted to do something special for Ben.”

Canales spent the last two years reaching out to organizations that work with the Mets to try to set something up for her student. Eventually, after many months of dead ends, Canales was put in touch with one of the panelists who select the candidates for SNY’s dream day. Through this panel, Jiminez made it to the final three candidates for the program.

“Ben made it to the final three,” Canales went on to say. “Then I got a call for an interview on why I thought Ben should be chosen. I told them everything about Ben and more. I got a call a few days later saying that they chose Ben for it.”

In addition to all of this, Ben’s interviews, which he conducted throughout his dream day, were aired as part of the lead up to this past Thursday’s Met game. After the interview was aired, Ben got to throw out the first pitch at Met Stadium in their game against the Milwaukie Brewers.

In honor of Jiminez’s kindness and positive attitude and Canales’s outstanding ability to connect with the children, families and staff of Briarwood, the pair were awarded this month’s Above and Bee-yond Award from Briarwood School.

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