The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Jacob Martin, a student at Placitas Elementary School, wears a bake-sale sign at Homestead Village to raise money for the Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund.

Jacob Martin, a student at Placitas Elementary School, wears a bake-sale sign at Homestead Village to raise money for the Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund.

Placitas schoolchildren contribute to Red Cross tsunami relief

Christina Werenko
Placitas Elementary School

It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “Everyone can be great because anyone can serve…. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”

This is exactly what Ms. Griego’s fifth graders and the students of Placitas Elementary School demonstrated upon their return to classes last month. The fifth-grade students came back from winter break with the news of the Indian Ocean tsunami on their minds. They asked Griego if they could collect money for the victims. With her help, they organized a “change drive” in which the entire school participated. Collection jars were found and signs were made. An ever so creative sign was hung on the teacher’s lounge soda machine: “Do you really need that Soda? If not, put that change in the jar.”

Change started clinking into the classroom jars on a daily basis for a week. One morning, while walking down the hallway, I saw a kindergartner with a bag of pennies. I said to her, “I see a bag of pennies.” Looking at me with a huge smile on her face, she said, “It is for the people that lost their home.” She was so excited she could barely get the words out of her mouth. She was so proud to have that bag of pennies ready to go into the jar.

All over school, classes were finding ways to relate to the disaster on a closer level. A first-grade student wrote in his journal about what a tsunami was and how a relative of his was there when it struck. (He assured me that his relative was okay.) The organizing class wrote short essays stating why they wanted to help the victims of the tsunami.

To further the students’ efforts, Placitas parent Carrie McPhee quickly organized a bake sale at the Merc. The Range Café, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts in Bernalillo contributed food items, and parents donated baked goods. Students proudly sold the treats, making sure that customers knew the proceeds would go directly to the Red Cross. The bake sale added over $200 to the school’s change drive.

Representatives from the Red Cross accepted the donation check from the student body of Placitas Elementary during a special school assembly on January 26. Students learned how the money they donated would help the efforts of tsunami victim relief.

Thank you to Ms. Griego’s fifth-grade class, all the Placitas Elementary students, teachers, and parents, and local businesses.


Placitas Girl Scout Troop 7288

Placitas Girl Scout Troop 7288

Girl Scouts help domestic-violence shelter

Placitas Girl Scout Troop 7288 would like to thank the community of Placitas for their generosity during the month of November. At their third annual food drive for the Haven House Domestic Violence Shelter the troop collected seven full grocery bags of nonperishable food items and $272 in cash in just five hours. The food and a check for $272 were delivered to the Haven House, where they were received enthusiastically.

You can support the girls in their upcoming cookie sales. Booths will be set up at the Merc on weekends during March. If you were not able to order cookies or cannot come by the booths, call Sierra Verdugo at 771-3962.


Charter school seeks logo

The Village Academy Charter School is holding a school-logo competition. The winning logo will be used on school stationery and promotional materials and should symbolically convey the school's goals and ideals.

The Village Academy Charter School is a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade public school that also will house a prekindergarten. Free to all students, VACS will open in Placitas in the fall of 2005.

The school's motto is “Student focused, teacher directed, family supported and community based.” Committed to bilingualism and community involvement, VACS will provide an education using Core Knowledge. Student development plans will guide each student's personal exploration while fulfilling the state's curricular requirements. Mentors, internships, and experiential learning will contribute to the educational experience.

March 1 is the deadline for logo submissions. All submissions should include the artist’s contact information. Those wishing their submission returned should provide a self-addressed envelope with return postage.

Submissions should be mailed to Village Academy Charter School, P. O. Box 1247, Placitas, NM 87043-1247. For further information, call Suzann Owings, 867-0567.


Senator Bingaman offers summer internships in Washington

U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman encourages students to apply for summer internships in his Washington office. The internships are open to college and university undergraduates who are from New Mexico or going to school in the state.

The internship program is designed to educate New Mexico students about the political process and allow them to gain experience in the daily operations of a U.S. Senate office. Summer interns will work five forty-hour weeks in Bingaman’s Capitol Hill office during one of two sessions, May 31 to July 1 or July 5 to August 5.

Applicants are required to complete an application form and provide a resume, three letters of reference, a writing sample, and answers to three essay questions. Completed applications must be received by March 31.

Because of continued delays in mail delivery to Senate offices in Washington, students are encouraged to complete and submit the application online at (click on Services and Requests). Students may also submit a printed version via fax at (202) 224-2852. Letters of reference should be submitted by fax or e-mailed by the writer to To confirm receipt of completed applications, contact David Pike, Bingaman’s Washington intern coordinator, at (202) 224-5521.

Intern positions in Bingaman’s state offices are also available. Please contact state offices for more information. In Albuquerque, call (505) 346-6601.


Free list of private scholarships

Most parents and students think that scholarships are only for students with excellent grades, low-income families, or athletic inclinations. The U.S. Commission for Scholastic Assistance-College Bound has spent hundreds of hours researching private scholarship sources. For information on obtaining a scholarship list, send a business-size SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to: The U.S. Commission for Scholastic Assistance, P.O. Box 650067, Potomac Falls, VA 20165-0067.




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