The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

SCHOOLBAG

Author Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson reads one of her picture books

Author Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson reads one of her picture books during last year’s Children’s Summer Reading Program at the Placitas Community Library.

Summer reading program at Placitas Community
Library

—NANCY GUIST, COORDINATOR, CHILDREN’S SUMMER READING PROGRAM, PLACITAS COMMUNITY LIBRARY
Summer is just around the corner. It’s a time for children to explore, create, and discover, as well as to relax and savor each day. What better accompaniment for such delightful diversions than a book.

The Placitas Community Library hopes to be a part of your child’s summer by again offering a Summer Reading Program. We will be having a weekly story time along with related hands-on projects. The story time will be held every Thursday morning from 9:00 to 10:30, beginning June 7 and running through August 9. We plan to have two story time groups (two- to five-year-olds and six- to nine-year-olds), which will then be combined for the craft or art activity. This summer’s theme will be “Get a Clue @ Your Library.” It is not necessary to register beforehand. Simply come join us each Thursday and discover the wondrous world of books.

As part of the Summer Reading Program, the Placitas Community Library will also be sponsoring a Reading Challenge Program. Children of all ages are welcome to register. They will be reading books (or having books read to them) in order to contribute to reaching a library goal of eight hundred books. Watch our Treasure Chest in the children’s room fill with gold coins as we work toward our goal. We will celebrate our reading at summer’s end with a party, prizes, and more.

The Summer Reading Program will kick off at the library’s Birthday Bash on Saturday, June 2. Children may register for the Reading Challenge at that time. (Children may also register any day after that during library hours.) Special performances, activities, and games are planned for children as well. Come join us in celebrating our library’s 3rd birthday, and start the summer with reading and fun.

The Placitas Community Library is located directly west of Homestead Village on Tierra Madre Road in Placitas.


Placitas Community Library plans activities for spring

—JUDY GAJKOWSKI, PLACITAS COMMUNITY LIBRARY
The Placitas Community Library website now lists almost all the books in our collection. While you’re on the website, check out the list of live auction items available at the Friends of the Library First Annual Dinner and Auction on Saturday, May 19. There are eight great live auction items and over one hundred items in the silent auction. Tickets are $60 per person for the event, which will be held at the Santa Ana Star Casino beginning at 6:00 p.m. Don’t miss this chance to have a lot of fun, support the Library, and maybe go home with one of the fantastic items up for bid. Call Pam Buethe at 771-8941 or check with anyone at the Library for more information and tickets.

While you’re at the Library, take a look at our newest addition—the “2007 We The People Bookshelf on the Pursuit of Happiness.” This collection of twenty books, including five in Spanish, and one CD, is a grant from the American Library Association and The National Endowment for the Humanities. We will have an “official” inauguration of the bookshelf materials at our Birthday Bash on June 2, but you are welcome to come in now for a preview.

On Saturday, May 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., there will be a book sale featuring lots of great bargains on a variety of books, videos, CDs, and other materials—something for everyone. Now is the time to clean out your bookshelves and bring your book and audio/visual donations to the Library. Also on May 12, seniors from the Placitas Senior Center will be displaying and selling their arts and crafts.

Ongoing programs at the Library include the bilingual story time on Tuesday, May 15 at 3:00 p.m., and the pre-school story time on Friday, May 4 at 9:30 a.m.


County Line

—DON LEONARD, SANDOVAL COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN
Spring definitely is in the air and the thoughts of teenagers are turning to… well, maybe… summer jobs.

Summer jobs provide our students with more than paychecks. The experiences gained from that early opportunity of earning pay for performing needed services are deeply ingrained. First jobs and first employers, combined with developing new skills and sense of accomplishment, create life-long work ethics that last far longer than the spending money that teens earn for clothing, college funds, and recreation.

Sandoval County’s highly effective Summer Youth Employment Program helps create those memories and work habits. It provides needed workers for jobs in programs serving all residents and jump-starts some of our younger citizens on a career path toward lifelong public service.

This summer, about one hundred students ages fourteen to seventeen will be hired in all areas of Sandoval County. The teenagers will be placed in a wide variety of jobs in government, schools, and not-for-profit agencies that serve County residents. Participants in the program will be assigned to specific tasks and job sites. Each will work twenty hours weekly and earn a salary of $5.25 per hour.

Some youth employees will help implement recreational programs. Others will provide maintenance at schools or assist older citizens at County senior centers.

Some summer youth employees will work directly with elected officials in County and city government. Others will perform needed duties in such areas as personnel, public works, landscaping, building maintenance, and community service programs.

The County program tries to find a good match for employers requesting a worker with specific skills. Yet, each job shares the common goal of providing our youth with opportunities to obtain valuable experience and assets for building future careers. And, all of the jobs will help provide needed services to our communities and residents.

Officials in our cities and villages tell me they couldn’t run their summer recreation and other programs without the talents and services of workers available through the County program.
This year’s program starts on June 4 and ends July 27. The first day of work includes a mandatory orientation session so that both employers and the young employees understand expectations and job requirements. At the end of the eight-week program, supervisors will give the youth workers written job evaluations and discuss their work performance with them.

Adult supervisors are key to the program’s success and are responsible for training and providing on-the-job oversight. Supervisors of the young employees also must be flexible in scheduling to accommodate summer school, vacations, and medical appointments. They also are responsible for training the young employees.

The Sandoval County Commission, which allocates funds to operate the summer youth employment program, has high expectations of participants. We expect our younger residents to do a good job and make a valuable contribution in their work. And, we expect them to establish the work ethic and memories that will last through their lifetimes.

Questions or comments for Commissioner Leonard can be mailed to him at Sandoval County Administrative Offices, PO Box 40, Bernalillo, NM 87004.


Village Academy Charter School students win state writing competitions

—IDALEE VOGEL
The Village Academy Charter School (VACS) community was recently notified that five middle-schoolers have been recognized for their winning entries in two different state competitions.

Marquette Sheehan, Derrick Valdez, and Jessica Anderson, all VACS seventh-graders, submitted the first-, second-, and third-place winning essays, respectively, at the middle school level, in the New Mexico Annual Charter School Student Essay Contest.
Students spent three days working on the project during the breakfast and morning “Drop Everything and Write” time. They were asked to write about what Village Academy would look like in the future. As a follow-up in the language arts classes, students edited each other’s work and made a final copy to submit to the competition. Village Academy will hold an official awards assembly in mid-May to recognize the students’ accomplishments.

Last month eighth-grader Renata Yazzie learned she was a first-place regional winner in the New Mexico National History Day Statewide Contest. Another eighth-grade student, Derek Lovato, was also invited to submit his project on WWII. State finalists were to be announced at the state competition held April 27 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

Renata Yazzie’s first-place winning project is a documentary entitled, “Triumph and Tragedies of the Navajo Nation.” Her extensive research involved university library, Internet, and community-based resources, culminating in a multi-media PowerPoint presentation. Yazzie received enormous support from her parents and other native community members, who provided interviews and testimonies concerning events that occurred approximately from the year 1860 through recent times.

State winners in each category will receive an all-expense paid trip to the national competition held in Maryland in June. National winners will receive scholarship monies. To prepare for this event, the organizers held a state-wide teacher conference, introducing a series of lesson plans to implement in their social studies classes at the beginning of the school year.

Village Academy Charter School, which opened its doors in the fall of 2006, provides an innovative learning environment based on the Core Knowledge Curriculum and a variety of community-based enrichment opportunities for its students. For more information, please contact VACS at www.villageacademyplacitas.com or call 867-9094.

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