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Abousleman represents New Mexico at youth conference in Washington, D.C.

U. S. Senator Pete Domenici met recently with John Kearney, Gabrielle Abousleman of Bernalillo, and Kristin Grassham, who were in Washington, D.C. representing New Mexico at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership conference. During their week in Washington, Abousleman attended leadership development seminars and performed community service, including working at a homeless shelter and cleaning parks in impoverished D. C. neighborhoods. As part of the program, Abousleman, an Albuquerque High School junior, pledged to do one hundred hours of community service in her town. She is the daughter of Gary and Mary Rose Abousleman, who own Parts Plus in Bernalillo.

 

Federal grant to create PBS TeacherLine model at BPS

KNME-TV, Channel 5, and Bernalillo Public Schools have received a $140,000 grant from PBS, through a U.S. Department of Education grant, to implement the PBS TeacherLine in New Mexico over the next three years. The grant will be used to establish a TeacherLine model at Bernalillo Public Schools to assist school districts across the state in integrating technology into the classroom and improving teaching practices.

PBS TeacherLine, created with the assistance of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the International Society for Technology in Education, uses the Internet to provide on-demand, high-quality, standards-based professional development for teachers in the areas of mathematics and technology.

BPS deputy superintendent Ivan Archibeque remarked, “TeacherLine will add a new dimension to our district professional-development efforts by making professional learning a flexible and portable experience. This provides teachers more time options in a highly demanding and time-restrictive professional environment. In time, the option will become more of a practical option for all professional-development needs in our district.”

By implementing TeacherLine, KNME joins statewide efforts to retain New Mexico teachers and improve teaching in the classroom. Through this PBS resource, teachers no longer have to travel long distances to meet professional-development requirements. They can take the courses at their convenience in the privacy of their own homes.”

The program will be implemented by the Bernalillo school district and integrated into statewide technology resources. The implementation of math training, technology, and on-line learning is a priority for the Bernalillo Public School district. BPS will provide stipends from their TeacherLine funds to teachers to promote interest. Four modules, each six to eight weeks in length, will be taken by a total of sixty BPS teachers during 2002 and 2003. If you have questions, please contact Colleen Keane, KNME-TV educational services manager, 277-8296 or ckeane@knme.org.

 

NM offers student-loan consolidation

Tom Udall
U.S. Representative

College students are well aware of the burden of student-loan debt. A federal program allows you to take advantage of the lowest rates on student loans in three decades by consolidating your loans. Consolidation involves the refinancing of all your federal student-loan debt. Rather than having several variable-rate loans with separate payments, a consolidated loan gives you a single monthly payment at a fixed rate. It allows you to extend the life of your loans to lower your monthly payments, and makes it easier to keep the loan on track and avoid costly delinquency charges.

On July 1, the interest rate on student loans dropped to 4.1 percent. For borrowers, this new low rate offers a unique opportunity to save money. Consolidation can be a wise choice for borrowers in either the Direct Loan or the FFEL program. Consolidation can mean lower payments without significantly increasing the length of your repayment. There are no application fees or prepayment penalties in either program.

If you are considering consolidation and complete your application within six months of graduation, you are entitled to an additional reduction of .6 percent in the Direct Loan Consolidation Program—bringing your interest rate down to 3.5%. Depending on their policies, FFEL lenders may require you to complete the consolidation process to receive the additional reduction, but many are offering the same generous conditions as the Direct Loan Program.

I urge you to take a few minutes to see if consolidation is an option for you. You can call 1-800-557-7392 or TDD 1-800-557-7395 to get specific information about your savings, and I hope you will take full advantage of this important opportunity.

 

Pre-K plan at PES progressing slowly but surely

Snow Moore Watson

The Placitas Education Fund has become an official project of the New Mexico Communities Foundation. The foundation brings on rural projects that fit under its scope of services, and help these community groups develop and become their own 501(c)3. We have been continuing our waiting list and have parents of three- and four-year-olds. If you wish to be added to the list, call or e-mail us and we will include you in our information circulation.

Many grants have been submitted for funding this proposed program. We are waiting to hear from Kellogg Foundation for an instructor's salary; the George Fund Foundation for classroom furniture, curriculum allowance, and partial instructor salary; the Gates Foundation for an instructor’s salary, furniture budget, and curriculum allowance; and the F. B. Heron Foundation for furniture and curriculum materials. I will be submitting a grant request to the McCune Foundation soon, seeking funding for portable classroom space.

Late last month we learned that the program’s instructor could not be an employee of Bernalillo Public Schools. Dr. Dwyer has clarified the employee will be ours (NMCF); however, the NMCF will not do payroll for us. Therefore, we must contract with the instructor or contract with someone who will payroll the instructor. This new problem is easily surmountable with your thoughts and ideas.

Though we have every hope to get some of the grants we have requested, this pre-K program will be donation- or fee based. We speculate that with our enrollment and rotating parental volunteers (as teacher's aides), we will have sufficient capability to make the program work. Right now, we have no local donations! This is our next big push. We need to devise a method of getting the word out and getting local donations to the NMCF for this program. All ideas are welcome.

Ms. Kennie Warren, principal of the Placitas Elementary School, has been working on the base curriculum; however, Dr. Dwyer recently requested that she back off from that. We have a group of volunteers—all retired, life-long, early-childhood educators with lots of experience—who will review the curriculum.

For further information about the program, e-mail Snow Moore Watson at snow@tishmangroup.com or call 867-2047.

 

Summer time at Optimist Club de Sandoval

Maude Linnartz

During summer vacation thirteen local youngsters participated in a week-long Optimist Club camp experience that included crafts, swimming, local excursions, games, and other fun activities. The trip to Chuck Homer's Placitas Alpaca Farm was a special treat.

The Placitas Fourth of July Parade included a wonderful Optimist Club float with two vehicles and Frank Hawks as Uncle Sam.

The Junior Optimist Club will be starting up again when school opens at the Placitas Elementary School. This junior club enables children at an early age to become community volunteers and to learn how to be leaders in their school. Last year, they led a school recycling project and participated in special activities for seniors.

Youth mentoring will also be resuming. Please contact Maude Linnartz, 771-2337, if you are interested in volunteering for the mentoring program. Working closely with one of our youngsters is an amazingly rewarding experience and one that can have positive, life-altering impact on that youngster.

September plans include voter registration at Rio Rancho High School and a candidates' forum where voters can meet candidates running in the November election.

To learn more about The Optimist Club de Sandoval, join us on the first and third Mondays of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Placitas Mission San Antonio Community Center on Paseo de San Antonio. Feel free to contact Optimist Club president, Nancy Hawks, at RNHteacher@aol.com or Maude Linnartz at 771-2337 for additional details.

 

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