The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

SCHOOLBAG

Signpost Cartoon c. Rudi Klimpert


Village Academy public charter school celebrates successes, recruits new students

Village Academy is celebrating its second-year successes. The Academy participated in the Reading Across America Day with a reading event that included Ms. Leigh, social studies teacher, dressed up like Dr. Seuss, and students from Ms. Trujillo’s third-grade class at Carroll Elementary as guests of honor. The students were served green eggs and ham; read Dr. Seuss books; assisted with Dr. Seuss arts, crafts, and worksheets; and were served a Cat-in-the-Hat birthday cake. All third-grade students received a copy of Horton Hears a Who and a Read Across America certificate.

In addition, Village Academy charter school has received a generous donation of $2,500 from Wal-Mart and a set of forty teaching resource posters from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Picturing America Program, courtesy of Sue Strasia. The posters open students’ eyes to America’s rich history and culture and provide an introduction to the broader world of the humanities. The school’s enrollment has increased by fifty percent. Students reported that utilizing our “Read 180” customized reading program for levels K-12 was both enjoyable and helpful in improving their reading skills.

Benny Shendo, Jr., former State Secretary of Indian Affairs and a strong advocate for charter schools, will be a guest speaker at Parent Night. This event is open to the community. Please call the Academy for details.

Prospective sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students and their families interested in learning more about this unique school are invited to an open house on April 2 at 7:00 p.m. or April 19 at 1:00 p.m. Both events will provide information in English and Spanish.

Charter school students are picked through a lottery process. Parents are encouraged to fill out a lottery application at Village Academy, Our Lady of Sorrows, 301 Camino del Pueblo in the Motivation Center, mid-center of the building in Bernalillo from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. In order to complete the school lottery and application process, interested parents are required to attend a mandatory handbook meeting. For more information, call 867-9094.


County opens summer youth jobs program

Sandoval County Commission Chairman Joshua Madalena said young residents ages fourteen to seventeen years are encouraged to apply for the County’s highly successful Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).

Applications for this year’s program will be available beginning Monday, March 10, at the Sandoval County Courthouse in Bernalillo and at senior centers in the Jemez Valley, Cuba, and Peña Blanca. Applications must be completed and returned by the April 18 deadline. Applicants will be notified of job placements by May 14, and work begins with a mandatory orientation session in Bernalillo on June 2.

About one hundred young workers will be selected for the program this year, which runs through July 25. Participants will work twenty hours weekly for government and not-for-profit employers in all areas of Sandoval County, and will earn $5.85 an hour.

“This is a great opportunity for our County’s youth. It is a program that I strongly support and highly recommend,” Madalena said. “The jobs available through the County program offer far more than paychecks,” he said. “In addition to providing salaries for clothing, education, and recreation, the County program helps our youth develop new skills and work ethics that will last a lifetime.”

Madalena said adult supervisors in the County program are “key” to the program’s success. “The County works very closely with supervisors who are responsible for training and providing on-the-job oversight,” Madalena said. “In addition, the supervisors of young employees must be flexible in scheduling to accommodate summer school, vacations, and medical appointments.”

Madalena said work opportunities in the SYEP may include washing dishes, typing and filing, lawn maintenance, or working with senior citizens.

“Regardless of the tasks, each job is important and necessary,” Madalena said. “The County Commission has high expectations of participants. We expect our younger residents to do a good job and make a valuable contribution in their work and to establish the ethics and memories that will last through their lifetimes.”


Club Cultural Italiano now accepting Scholarship award applications

Club Cultural Italiano, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to celebrate Italian culture and traditions, is announcing the guidelines and eligibility requirements for 2008 graduating high school seniors who wish to apply for a CCI scholarship.

Teachers in the Rio Rancho High School and Albuquerque Public High Schools have received the packet of requirements for distribution to interested students. The deadline date for applications to be submitted is April 30.

Two awards are offered: First place winner will receive $1000, and second place, $500.

Anyone wishing to donate to the scholarship fund or find out more about the Club's monthly meetings, contact June Trezza at 867-6842.


Holistic Moms Network chapter forming in Sandoval County

A new chapter of the Holistic Moms Network is forming in Sandoval County and will hold an open house at the Placitas Community Center, 41 Camino de Las Huertas on Wednesday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m.

The Holistic Moms Network is a rapidly growing national non-profit organization connecting moms who are passionate about holistic health and green living. “Through monthly meetings, our local chapters bring parents together in a non-judgmental environment that honors their lifestyle and parenting choices,” says the group’s Executive Director Nancy Massotto. “For new parents who choose to raise their children holistically, having the support of like-minded parents is critical,” she says. The Holistic Moms Network encourages new moms to trust their instincts, to parent from the heart, and to educate themselves about the pros and cons of all healthcare options. Through a dynamic email discussion loop, members of the group share life-changing information and advice on a variety of topics including pregnancy, breastfeeding, natural childbirth, positive discipline, alternative medicine, and all aspects of green living.

The organization, which was founded in New Jersey in 2003, currently has more than 115 chapters across the United States. “A majority of today’s moms say that pregnancy inspired a shift to green living, and three quarters of Americans seek out some form of alternative medicine,” says Massotto, “so we’re seeing a surge of interest in our organization.”

Moms, dads, grandparents, partners, and other caregivers are all welcome to join. The Sandoval County Chapter meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the Placitas Community Center and welcomes volunteer guest speakers on a variety of holistic lifestyle topics. For more information, visit the Holistic Moms Network website at www.holisticmoms.org or contact the organization at : (877) HOL-MOMS.


Placitas Elementary School hosts spaghetti dinner and fundraiser

Following the incredible turnout for February’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new and improved Placitas Elementary School, there is another opportunity for Placitas residents and friends to explore the renovations just completed. On April 11, Placitas Elementary will hold its annual spring spaghetti dinner and gift basket raffle. Items for silent auction will also be available for bid. This will be an opportunity for Placitas residents to see their tax dollars at work in helping to promote an environment of learning and enrichment for Placitas children—and to enjoy a good meal with other members of the community.

Come tour our building, the renovation, and classroom additions, which were completed on time and under budget. This recent work expanded permanent classroom space to remove portable classrooms. This newly enhanced learning environment, though, is only one element of the equation that helps Placitas Elementary remain one of the only elementary schools in Bernalillo Public Schools to meet or exceed AYP requirements. The other is the ongoing support of the community. For example, notable attendees at the ribbon-cutting ceremony included our State Senator Kent Cravens and State Representative Kathy McCoy.

The dinner, which begins at 6:00 pm on April 11, will have a nominal fee. For those with a sweet tooth, there will be an ice cream sundae table hosted by the Art in the School program. In addition to the silent auction, attendees will have the opportunity to buy raffle tickets to win one of several gift baskets. The baskets, which have been donated by community leaders, Placitas residents, and parents, will have a variety of themes, from gardening—just in time for spring—to sports and epicurean-related themes. Tickets will be available prior to the event and at the door. We welcome you to come on out and support your local school.


Wild animals at the Placitas Library!

—NANCY GUIST

On April 26, the Placitas Community Library will be holding its annual Birthday Bash from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. From 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, the “Zoo to You” van will provide an educational presentation which will include live animal ambassadors such as birds and mammals, as well as biofacts about the role each plays in the ecosystem.

This summer’s reading program theme is “Catch the Reading Bug!” Our weekly story time, along with related hands-on projects, will be every Thursday morning, from June 5 to August 7. We will have two age groups: preschool/primary and primary/intermediate. The library will also have the annual Summer Reading Challenge. Registration cards for the Challenge will be available beginning on April 26 at the library.

Beginning Tuesday, April 1, the library will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Tuesday.

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