Members of the Junior Optimist Club are feeling proud of their Community Literacy Project. They taped and bagged their own books for Algodones Elementary School students. Repeated sessions of listening to books on tape while following along in the paper version has been found to help some students improve fluency in their speech.
Algodones Elementary School students look pleased to receive their new books
and tapes from members of the Junior Optimist Club.
Junior Optimists shine
Optimist Club de Sandoval
Members of the adult Optimist Club de Sandoval beamed with pride and enthusiasm as they recently hosted the installation of the officers and members of the Junior Optimist Club. Alex Blanton is now president, Claire Blanton is vice president, James Maduena is treasurer, Clayton Richards is secretary, and Max Dawkins is the sergeant at arms. These Placitas Elementary School students are actively running their club, facilitating meetings, taking minutes, and managing their club funds with a special bank account. Their pumpkin-sale fund-raiser was a great success.
Look for adult and junior Optimists at the PES Halloween Carnival on October 31. They'll be doing face painting and applying temporary tattoos.
The youngsters have formed committees for bike safety, animal safety, and art. A Halloween bowling trip and a visit by experts discussing the rehabilitation of injured birds were enjoyed by all. The club is also working on Veterans’ Day cards for disabled veterans. They remember the pride they felt last year when their cards were so appreciated that they were photographed for the cover of the international veterans' magazine.
Other programs sponsored by the adult club include a bike-safety rodeo, a youth summer camp, a high school citizenship program, a prekindergarten program, Blessings Day, high school voter registration, and Reading to Kasey.
To find out more about these programs and how you can impact our community, attend an adult club meeting on the first or third Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Placitas Mission San Antonio Community Center (on Paseo de San Antonio). Your participation, however limited, can make a big difference! Contact Elaine Sullivan at 771-1172 for additional details.
Looking optimistic in Bernalillo
Optimist International, Friend of Youth, is chartering a new club in Bernalillo. The club will meet every Monday at noon at the Coronado Restaurant. Our positive approach, our upbeat outlook, and our commitment to creating a more optimistic future for our kids is what differentiates Optimist clubs from any other volunteer opportunity.
This new club has already chosen its first three projects to support: gardening opportunities, with the Four Seasons Youth Harvest Project; the prekindergarten program of the Placitas Education Foundation; and the Children's Room at the Coronado Monument.
To confirm that you will be attending a meetings or to obtain more information, please call Penelope at 867-9635.
Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks volunteers
—Christina Werenko and Andrea Kotowski
Big Sis Andrea Kotowski and Little Sis Mayte—matched for 3 1/2 years
Children in today’s society are faced with many more choices and pressures than children in previous generations have been. Many need positive role models and friends to guide them through this sometimes difficult time in their life.
By mentoring, adults can help and support the children in their community. Mentoring can be fun and rewarding for the volunteer as well as for the child.
There are a couple of options available in Sandoval County: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico is currently serving Algodones Elementary School and will begin to serve Placitas Elementary School in January 2004; Wise Men and Women serves Bernalillo Mid-School and Carroll Elementary School.
Did you know that children who have mentors are less likely to use drugs and more likely to develop a positive attitude toward school? A national study found that children in school-based Big Brothers Big Sisters programs showed the following success rates:
- 64 percent of the children developed more positive attitudes toward school
- 58 percent achieved higher grades
- 62 percent were more likely to trust their teachers
- 60 percent demonstrated improved relationships with adults
- 77 percent of teachers, parents, and volunteers reported increased self-confidence in the student.
If you have ever thought about mentoring a child in your community, here is your chance. Placitas Elementary is recruiting community members to be Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The BBBS mentoring program matches children in need of additional support and attention with responsible, caring individuals who provide friendship and academic guidance on a weekly basis.
Here are the basic facts for interested volunteers about the BBBS school-based program:
- Volunteers are carefully trained and screened (through references, background checks, and a personal interview)
- Matches are made based on compatibility and similarity of interests
- Matches meet at the child’s school for one hour each week
- Program staff provides ongoing supervision and support to volunteers and students
- Teachers and counselors refer the children to the program
- BBBS interviews the child to assess needs and to learn about the child’s interests and personality
If you are interested in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister in the school-based mentoring program, call Big Brothers Big Sisters at 837-9223 or call Placitas Elementary at 867-2488. You may also attend an information meeting at the Placitas Senior Center on Wednesday, November 5, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., or stop by the information booth at the Placitas Holiday Sale on November 22 and 23.