Children visit the National Atomic Museum during an Optimist de Sandoval Club Summer Camp field trip in July. (TOP: left to right) Bobby Messenger, Patrick Zedalis, Austin Messenger, (BOTTOM:) Jessica Anderson, Sarah Williams, Elizabeth Williams
Notes from Optimists
The Optimists de Sandoval Club will meet on August 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the San Antonio Mission Hall in Placitas. There will also be a meeting at the Gazebo of McCole’s Pub at Homestead Village at 11:00 a.m. on August 18.
The summer camp was a great success.
The Optimists will be participating once again in the Relay For Life on August 13 and 14 at the track at Bernalillo High School. Anyone interested in helping with this worthwhile relay to raise funds for fighting cancer should call Elaine Sullivan at 771-1171. We need people willing to walk and provide financial support.
The Friday reading program sponsored by our club is going well. Grandmothers who wish to read are greatly appreciated. Thanks to Roseanne Eakin, our first reading grandmother.
Charter-school group forms in Placitas
Open community meeting on August 23
During the past few months, several local families have joined to investigate creating a charter school in Placitas. This process resulted in establishing the Placitas Charter School Committee, which intends to provide high-quality pre-kindergarten through high-school education in Placitas.
The PCSC states that its vision is to expand the education programs for our children and increase the opportunity for parents to influence the school's structure and curriculum.
Charter schools are public schools paid for by tax dollars; all children are welcome at no cost to the family.
At this point the goals for the Placitas Charter School are threefold :
1. Provide an excellent education that meets each student's needs
2. Support home school families in the community
3. Establish the school in two phases, starting with pre-kindergarten through sixth grade and ultimately expanding to pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.
PCSC members explain that the mission is to provide a teacher-directed, student-focused, family-oriented community school of the finest academic and social quality.
PCSC will hold an open community meeting to explain their goals and receive input on Monday, August 23, at 7:00 p.m. at the Pinon Café (located in the Homestead Shopping Center). Parents, grandparents, and caregivers of Placitas-area children are urged to attend. All Placitans are sincerely welcome, especially those who recognize education as a vehicle for providing better opportunities for our children and for improving our community as a whole.
The Piñon Café has generously agreed to open their doors that evening, thereby offering a more comfortable meeting space. Beverages will be available for purchase, but the kitchen will be closed for meal service.
During the past six months, the PCSC has met with former charter-school principal Dr. Lonnie Juarez, who is now a New Mexico education consultant, to explore some of their options. Juarez envisions PCSC possibly connecting with a notable university and becoming their laboratory site. He says that the Placitas community would lend itself well to such an educational relationship.
PCSC is researching successful, reputable charter-school models from around the nation as options for the Placitas Charter School. As part of this process, the PCSC has received application samples from the New Mexico Department of Education. All of this information will be presented to the public at the August 23 meeting.
The PCSC is supported by the Placitas Education Fund, a nonprofit organization sponsored by the New Mexico Community Foundation. For further information, please contact Snow Watson at 867-2047.
Spend a night under the stars to help cancer victims
Participants in the second annual Relay For Life Bernalillo/Placitas are making the final plans for their event, which will be held beginning Friday evening, August 13, and ending Saturday morning, August 14, at Bernalillo High School.
Relay For Life is the exciting signature event of the American Cancer Society and brings together community groups and individuals who are concerned about cancer in a unified effort to fight back against this disease.
Volunteer teams, who have been working on a variety of fund-raising activities, will create booths and staging areas from which members will take turns walking all night around the track as a reminder that cancer never sleeps. You can still join one of these teams, select the activity that is best for you, and become a contributing part of this positive energy. All local Bernalillo and Placitas Chamber of Commerce members have been contacted. Perhaps your associates or friends are already becoming involved.
After dark on Friday, a very moving luminaria ceremony will be held to honor cancer survivors and to remember those who have lost the battle with cancer. Friends and families purchase and dedicate these luminarias, which are still available through committee members. The Bernalillo High School track will be surrounded with these burning lights to remind the participants of the importance of their contributions toward cancer research.
Chances can also be purchased now for a wide variety of prizes, including two Southwest Airlines round-trip tickets to any city in the United States that the airline serves, four complementary greens fees at Santa Ana Golf Course, and dinner for two at La Casita Restaurant. Call 867-7410 for information on purchasing.
As Friday evening progresses, games, activities, and food will keep everyone's energy level up. In addition, a number of families and friends will be camping out in the center of the track to provide encouragement and support as the programs unfold. Money raised by the participants to go directly to the American Cancer Society's life saving programs.
Information about how to become involved in Relay For Life Bernalillo/Placitas is available by calling Janette Perez at 867-7410 or Melisa Beach at 260-2105, extension 13, at the American Cancer Society.
For more general information about Relay For Life or the American Cancer Society, please call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit the web site www.cancer.org.