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Optimist Club de Sandoval news

Maude Linnartz

The Optimist Club de Sandoval focuses on increasing the health, safety, quality of education, and enjoyment of life of families and children in southeastern Sandoval County.  Recent successful programs have included collecting money to help local needy families pay for utility bills.

The Placitas Elementary School Jr. Optimists meets after school, on Wednesdays. Their project of making Veteran's Day cards was so appreciated, that these cards were featured on the cover of the Zia Chapter of the December issue of the Paralyzed Veterans of America magazine. Adult volunteers are needed, Wednesday afternoons, to work with the children.

A community pre-kindergarten is now located at PES. The program includes music, art, reading, math, and basic cognitive development. Integration with the elementary school has worked very smoothly, and the children enjoy going to the library, playground, and cafeteria. There are still slots available for children ages 3 and up.

On February 17, Terry Smith (the reading facilitator for the Algodones Elementary School) will talk about book programs in the school and their need for books and tapes.

The club is assessing other community program ideas—e.g. The Placitas Community Gardens/farmer's market organized and proposed by Tom McDonald and welcome baskets for new neighbors.

You are invited to join the club 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 its President, Elaine Sullivan (sullynm@earthlink.net) or Maude Linnartz (771-2337) for additional details.

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters needs volunteers

Big Brothers Big Sisters has collaborated with Wise Men and Women to provide mentoring services to children in all Bernalillo-area elementary schools. In order to ensure the most successful mentoring services possible, BBBS and WM&W rely on volunteers from the local community to spend time with children in need. BBBS conducts thorough screening of potential volunteers and provides ongoing support for the mentoring relationship once a match has been made.

BBBS is actively recruiting volunteers from the Algodones, Placitas, and Bernalillo communities to become Big Brothers and Big Sisters for children at the Algodones Elementary site. Volunteering requires only one hour per week during the regular school day for the duration of the school year. BBBS will be matching children with volunteers well into February for the current school year. Individuals interested in becoming Big Brothers or Big Sisters to a child at Algodones Elementary or to any other area schools can call 837-9223 for more information.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico, a nonprofit agency located in Albuquerque, has been offering quality services to children in school and community-based programs for the past thirty years. Currently, the BBBS school-based program serves children in nine public elementary and middle schools in Albuquerque, one elementary school in Rio Rancho, and now in Algodones Elementary, just north of Bernalillo. BBBS services match responsible, caring adult role models with children who may be struggling in the areas of academics, peer relations, communication, or self-esteem, or who may simply be in need of quality one-to-one interaction with an adult.

 

Fatherhood conference scheduled

The New Mexico PTA, Parents Reaching Out, and the New Mexico Young Fathers Project are sponsoring a one-day event on fathering skills. The Embracing Fatherhood Conference will address helping children succeed in school, saving for college, family resolution skills, and the importance of fathers in children’s lives.

The conference will be held at the Albuquerque Marriott on February 8. You must register by Tuesday, February 4, to attend the conference. Registration costs $25 and includes lunch. For more information, call the New Mexico PTA at 881-0712.

 

List of scholarships available from U.S. commission

A conservative estimate of college costs for a full-time student runs from $10,000 to $30,000; high-cost colleges can run from $40,000 to $100,000! Most parents and students think scholarships are only for the student who has excellent grades, a low-income family, or athletic inclinations. Although the majority of scholarships are from the federal government and are merit- or need-based, millions of dollars are available to students from private-sector scholarships.

The U.S. Commission for Scholastic Assistance–College Bound is an organization that supplies the public with over a thousand different private scholarship sources. The list includes the scholarship name, address, application deadlines, description, and amount.

For information on obtaining scholarship lists, send a self-addressed stamped, business (#10) envelope to: The U.S. Commission for Scholastic Assistance, P.O. Box 668, O’Fallon, IL 62269.

 

School-board election on February 4

The Bernalillo School District encourages residents to vote on February 4 in favor of a two-mill levy tax question that reads, "Shall the Board of Education of the Bernalillo Municipal School District . . . be authorized to impose a property tax of $2 per each $1,000 of net taxable value of the property allocated to such District under the Property Tax Code for the property tax years of 2003,2004 2005, and 2006 . . . ."

The continuation of the two-mill levy would not raise property taxes from the current level but would provide essential funding to maintain and improve buildings and equipment, as well as to purchase books and equipment. The tax produces $616,184 that keeps the school district bonded to a required percentage of capacity, making the district eligible to apply for future appropriations from state critical capital-outlay monies. The district has received over $2.5 million since 1998 from this fund, due to the willingness of taxpayers to approve the mill levy in the past.

The candidates for the school board are:

  • District One: Edward Cooka, Eloy Quintana, Ray Tafoya.
     
  • District Two: Jack Torres, Frank Chavez, Sam Senna Jr.
     
  • District Five: Errol Chavez, Geoffrey Rinaldi.
     
  • For more information, including where to vote, call 867-2317.

 

School-counselor workshops

Sessions on college preparation, financial aid, career and college fairs, and scholarship programs and resources will be held at the Spring Counselors Workshops on February 21 at the Albuquerque TVI Workforce Training Center. The conference is sponsored by the New Mexico College Awareness Coalition. All education professionals and parents who would find the workshop useful are invited to attend. Registration is free and must be completed by Friday, February 10. Preregistration is required by February 7. Register on-line at www.dol.state.nm.us/soicc/index.html or by fax to 505 822-1710. For more information, call Marissa or Cherie 841-4794.

 

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