The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

SCHOOLBAG

Volunteer mentors needed

—CARMEN PEREZ
According to Webster, a mentor is a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. As working or retired individuals in the community or as young college students, we may not view ourselves as wise counselors or teachers. But many of us have the capacity to teach and to counsel because of our rich life experiences, and we are the very ones who can help direct young lives in very significant and positive ways.

In the Bernalillo Public School district, there have been many fine individuals who have mentored, and there are several who have progressed with the same student through their years in school. No words can thank these individuals enough. They are unsung heroes from the Wise Men and Women Mentorship Program, nurturing that genius that lies within every child.

There are great demands placed on schools in our present society. So much is expected from our teachers—with so many students in their classes, and more and more governmental demands pressed upon the school systems. Teachers and counselors do not have enough time to reach all the students in the special ways that all children need. This is where mentoring in the schools can be of immense service. Many children experience extreme situations in their growing years: broken families, death of a parent or sibling, a parent in prison, peer pressure, bullying, lack of self-esteem, etc. The presence of a mentor in their lives can change their world, beginning with helping them to recognize that their lives are precious and important.

Residents and leaders of the communities of Algodones, Bernalillo, Placitas, the pueblos, and Rio Rancho are being asked to come to the schools and become a small but very crucial part in the life of a young person who is waiting for someone to recognize their genius. Let’s reach down deeply into our roots and spirit, and know that by reaching we will be taking important steps to being a vital part of our community and even more, we will realize how much we have in ourselves to share with others.

Contact Carmen Perez, 771-0803, for more information or if you would like to participate in mentoring.


U.S. Senate approves Bingaman amendment to subsidize healthy snacks

On November 3, the U.S. Senate approved the fiscal year 2006 Agriculture Appropriations bill, containing a provision written by Senator Jeff Bingaman to improve nutrition in New Mexico schools.

Bingaman’s amendment sets aside $1 million for a Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Pilot program, which will provide schools with healthy snacks. Funds will be awarded through a competitive process and would benefit twenty-five schools in New Mexico.

“Too many children in our country are overweight or even obese. Part of the problem is that they may not be offered healthy snacks during the school day. This $1 million will help schools throughout our state make fruits and vegetables available to students, giving them an alternative to junk food,” Bingaman said.

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