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Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale representatives present a check for $1515.00 from the Holiday Sale art raffle in 2014 to the Placitas Elementary Art in the School program. Proceeds will help buy art supplies and instruction for Placitas Elementary School students.


Three of the five young artists who contributed to the literacy-calendar project and displayed their work during a Bernalillo Town Council meeting are (from left) recreation program counselor Ryan Garcia and program participants Estefania Ledezma and Shantay Gutierrez. They are surrounded by the town librarian, members of the library board and town councilors.

Engaging young readers one day at a time

—Bill Diven

A calendar with no dates may seem odd until your hear how Bernalillo’s library is using it to stimulate early childhood education.

Nearly two hundred of the Day by Day Family Literacy Activity Calendars are already in circulation, said Kathy Banks, director of the Martha Liebert Public Library. Funding is now being sought to print at least one thousand more, she added.

“Because there are no dates, no years, it goes on forever,” Banks said. “It never has to be changed. It does, however, have months, each with its own theme, and each day has activities designed to increase interaction between parent and preschool child. Each month also includes related books available at the library.

The idea for the dateless calendar appears to be spreading among the library community by word of mouth. Library board member Susan Rinaldi learned about it from her brother, a librarian in South Carolina, who picked up the idea after it passed between libraries in Idaho and Oregon.

Rinaldi led the local project assisted by two Town of Bernalillo staff members, Carla Salazar and Renee Montoya, who volunteered their after-work time. The town’s summer-recreation program provided the young artists whose work highlights each month. Those included four kids in the program—Estefania Ledezma, Shantay Gutierrez, Destenee Alvarez, and Kittie Plancarte—and Ryan Garcia, a Parks and Recreation Department counselor who walked the group to the library.

The Friends of the Library, supported by the ongoing book sale in the Town Hall lobby, provided the one thousand dollars needed to print the first 250 calendars. Those were delivered to day care and preschool programs and the local Head Start.

The library is now looking for grant money to cover the additional printings.


Cubs Scouts prepare for summer

—Suzann Owings

“In March, we will focus on biking and swimming,” says Pack Master David Gardner. On March 21, the scouts of Pack 708 will participate in the Bike Safety Rodeo put on by the Coronado Optimist Club at Rotary Park. Held from 9:00 to noon, the Coronado Optimist Club’s Bike Safety Rodeo will help youngsters learn road signs, test their agility, and check their brakes, helmets, and seat heights. Prizes and certificates will be awarded.

Adult volunteers are very welcome to help make certain the bikes are working properly.

“Bike safety is particularly important to reinforce before Spring break,” says Snow Watson the Scout Liaison for the Coronado Optimist Club. “It’s important to remember the rules of the road.”

The cub scouts also will be practicing their swimming on March 25. The Pack meets 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Sergeant Joseph Harris Building at the Railrunner Station in Bernalillo. Pack meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. 

For further information about the Cub Scouts, contact David Gardner at 867-4689 or Snow Watson at 867-2047. For further details about the Bike Safety Rodeo, contact Suzann Owings at 867-0567.


Benjamin Chase and Sara Watson win/place in Coronado Essay Contest

—Suzann Owings

On March 18, at 6:00 p.m., at the Range Cafe, Cuba High School senior Benjamin Chase will read aloud his contest-winning essay titled Optimism Should be a Priority. The contest is open to students under age 19, who have not yet graduated from high school, and who have not yet won a District contest. Ben’s essay will join others that earned first place in their Optimist Club contests throughout New Mexico and West Texas. In May, the District will award a $2,500 scholarship for the winning essay.

Placitan Sara Watson, a sophomore at V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, won the Runner-Up position, second place, in the club’s Essay Contest. For her winning essay, Sara will receive a medal, certificate and prize at the club’s awards evening. Sara has been a Junior Optimist and participated in the Optimist Summer Camp since she was very young.

In addition to an annual Essay Contest, the Optimists sponsor young people in an Oratorical Contest, and a Communication Contest for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Students annually win ten thousand dollars in scholarships in the New Mexico-West Texas District.

For further information, contact Suzann Owings at 867-0567, and visit the Coronado Optimist Club’s website: optimist19.wix.com/coronadoclub.

 
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