Volunteer child advocates sworn in
Judge Louis McDonald and CASA volunteers at swearing-in ceremony.
On February 1 an extraordinary gathering of advocates for children met in the courtroom of Judge Louis McDonald at the Sandoval Judicial Complex. Social workers, foster parents, and children’s and parents’ attorneys came to discuss ways in which abused and neglected children in Sandoval County might be helped to find permanency and safety. (New Mexico has one of the highest child abuse and neglect rates in the nation.)
All aspects of advocacy for children—foster homes, parental decisions, judicial process—were examined by concerned volunteers.
The highlight of the program was the swearing in of new court-appointed special advocates by Judge McDonald. There are many more children who need and deserve special help than there are volunteers to care about them. CASA volunteers receive training in the special needs of children who have been abused, neglected, or even abandoned. The volunteers are an official part of the judicial proceedings, working as appointed officers of the court. Any caring adult can become a CASA. If you would like to know how you might help a frightened and confused child, call CASA 332-8071.
Brownie troop needs members, cookie orders
Placitas Elementary School
Placitas Elementary School has a new Brownie troop that could use some more children. So we want you to sign up your child. It has fun things for your child. Your child will get to be a great Brownie.Your child will get to read educational books. We will go on field trips like bowling and earn different badges. The first badge is the bowling badge. We will be making things, also. So, we want you to sign up! If you want to sign up your child, just call Heidi Web for information or call 867-9811. The troop is #1198. Also cookies are on sale.
Optimist Club update
A recent presentation by Terry Smith (reading facilitator for the Algodones Elementary School) led to some ideas about how the Junior Optimist Club de Sandoval could make a significant contribution to the community. Terry saw that her school would greatly benefit from obtaining new books on tape—along with the books themselves—for their students. Placitas Elementary School Junior Optimists will be asked to donate a book that they have outgrown and will be helped to tape the book in their own voices. These sets will then be given to the Algodones students.
The Optimist Club has recently reconditioned and donated six bicycles to Peanut Butter and Jelly. Contact Frank Hawks, at 771-4931, if you can donate any bikes, and Frank will magically transform them into safe, fun, desirable bikes. Frank will also coordinate this year's bike safety program.
Club members recently participated in a Special Olympics Winter Games at the state fairgrounds (poly-hockey was played). Fellow Optimists cooked and served meals to the enthusiastic youngsters. Those interested in helping in a similar event, planned for the summer, should contact Suzann Owings, 867-0567.
You are invited to the club meetings 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 the president, Elaine Sullivan, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Maude Linnartz, at 771-2337, for additional details.