The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


BPS conference affirms diversity through language and culture

On October 23 a conference was held by Bernalillo Public Schools. The need for this conference was evidenced by school data: Of the three thousand students in the Bernalillo Public Schools, 45 percent are Hispanic, 42 percent are Native American, and 8 percent Caucasian. Eighty-five percent of the student population comes from a home environment where a language other than English was spoken and 59 percent of those students were identified as English Language Learners.

Coordinators for the conference were Mateo Sanchez, director of Indian education; Dr. Carlos Abeyta, director of hispanic/bilingual education and conference coordinator; Bernice Fresquez Life, director of special education; and Barbara Vigil-Lowder, superintendent. Keynote speakers included Dr. Rubén Cóbos, author of A Dictionary of New Mexico and Southern Colorado Spanish, and Dr. Joe H. Suina, author of And Then I Went to School and a recently retired professor from the University of new Mexico.

Abeyta stated, “Our students come to school with a diverse learning style rooted in rich cultural traditions and ways of life. We must acquire multicultural strategies that use the rich student experiences as resources for further learning.”

Over seventy participants gave a wide variety of presentations and workshops covering topics such as Preparing Red Chile and Roasted Corn, Using Music in the Bilingual Classroom, BHS Cochiti Keres Language, Raising My Son Bilingual and Bicultural, Día de Los Muertos in the Classroom, Community of Bernalillo: A Cultural Perspective, Native Cultural Foods, Effective Reading Instruction in 2-Way Dual Language, Differentiated Instruction in Math, Integrating Art in the HS Classroom, Working Together Toolkit, and Bullies in the Classroom.

Superintendent Vigil-Lowder said, “Multiculturalism is part of our communities. Diversity is at the very root of the richness that our students bring to school. The culture, the language is who we are and our pride is demonstrated by our actions. We are proud to impart our heritage by making every child feel that he or she belongs. Every child should feel validated and empowered to learn and succeed. Every child should be provided instruction in a manner that is best for their learning style, including using their native language. We should use their rich cultural experiences as resources for instruction.”

She quoted Dr. Sabine Ulibarri:
In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was made flesh. It was so in the beginning and it is so today. The language, the Word, carries within it the history, the culture, the traditions, the very life of a people, the flesh. Language is people. We cannot even conceive of a people without a language, or a language without a people. The two are one and the same. To know one is to know the other.

Rio Rancho High School student to be honored for seven years of volunteer service

For the first time ever, on November 14, the Association of Fundraising Professionals is honoring three young philanthropists on National Philanthropy Day. The youth categories were for elementary, middle-, and high-school students who had made significant contributions to the community for their volunteer work in local nonprofit organizations.

Bound for Success submitted K'Dawn Butler as an entrant. K'Dawn, a high-school student at Rio Rancho High School, has been volunteering her services for the past seven years at Nearly New–A Repeat Boutique, operated by Bound for Success. Nearly New provides free clothing to women who are in transition from home to work, school to work, or welfare to work, as well as to victims of domestic abuse.

Since K'Dawn was seven years old, she has sorted, hung, and priced clothing, made displays, modeled clothing, and purchased toys at garage sales, with her own money, for children to play with when they come into the shop with their moms. She has donated her time almost every Saturday during the school year and Saturdays and every other Tuesday during the summer. Her long-term commitment to the agency and her positive role-modeling won over the awards committee. Her continued support for the last seven years was the deciding factor in a field of incredible youth philanthropy, especially in the high-school category.

K'Dawn will be recognized at the Association of Fundraising Professionals twentieth anniversary National Philanthropy Day Luncheon on November 14 at the Embassy Suites. She will receive a $250 savings bond and a check for $250 to donate to her favorite charity ... Bound for Success.

Corporate tables for the luncheon are $1,000 and individual tickets are $35. Call 890-2256 if you would like to register.

Vote for both library bonds November 7

On the ballot this year are two library-bond Issues, one for the sixteen Sandoval County libraries and a second for the whole state. The Placitas Community Library Board and volunteers urge you to support both of these, as they serve different needs and will have minimal impact on taxes.

First, let's look at the Sandoval County General Obligation Bond. The $3.25 million is to be used over four years for long-term projects and improvements such as high-speed Internet access, furnishings for the new building, book purchases, and program funding.

The Placitas Library will receive approximately $122,000, and the Bernalillo Library $209,000. Both libraries deserve your support. The GO Bond will not raise your taxes.

State General Obligation Bond “C” will appear near the bottom of your ballot. This bond will provide $9 million for all libraries in the state, with $3 million going to public libraries. Since over 50 percent of New Mexicans have library cards, this seems a good use of tax dollars. These funds can be used for books, computers, databases, and the like. It is estimated that this bond will add to your taxes $1.50 for each $150,000 of home value. This is a small price to pay for such vital services used by so many.

The library is always grateful for your wonderful donations of books and other media. Here are a few recent publications we would love to have: Blood and Thunder, by Hampton Sides, a story of Kit Carson, the U.S. Government, and the Navajo Nation; Conservatives without Conscience, by John Dean; Mind Set: Reset Your Thinking and See the Future, by John Nesbitt; or Eats Shoots and Leaves for Kids, by Lynn Truss. If you happen have a copy languishing on your shelves, and would like to pass it on to the community, please drop it off at the library and we will get it right on the shelf. Speaking of which, we now have Bob Woodward's new book, A State of Denial, ready for you to check out.

Important dates coming up:
Friday, November 3—Children's Story Time, 10 a.m.
Monday, November 6—Library book club discussion of Sarah, by Orson Scott Card, 4 p.m.
November 18 and 19—Fall Book Sale at the Library, 10-4 p.m. Saturday; 10-3 p.m. Sunday
Monday, December 4—Library Book Club Discussion of A Lady's Life in the Rockie Mountains, 4 p.m. (Please drop in even if you haven't read the books and discover what this open, lively group has to offer.)
Saturday, December 9—Holiday Open House

Our annual Friends of the Library solicitation letter will appear in your mailboxes soon. Remember that the library is staffed entirely by volunteers. Your contribution to the Friends allows us to keep the lights on and the rent paid, so please give generously. (GO bond funds and such cannot be used for operating expenses.)

Bernalillo Public Schools hires director of Indian Education

Bernalillo Public Schools is pleased to announce that Matthew L. Sanchez has accepted the district position of director of Indian education.

Sanchez brings a rich background of experience in working successfully with the Native American community and writing and managing grants. During his most recent professional experience, as the director of education for the Pueblo of San Felipe, he managed federal and state grants, maintained budgets, met reporting requirements, and collaborated with staff to accomplish project goals for native youth. As a trainer with the Native American Alliance Foundation, Sanchez provided technical assistance and training throughout the United States for tribal youth programs. He brings to this position established strong partnerships with local tribal leaders and communities and a working knowledge of the district. He looks forward to returning to the district where he first began as a student teacher in 1996.




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