Here’s a look at today’s news:
The U.S Department of Health has awarded a $5.4 million grant to the state of New Mexico to assist in building an early learning system for families and young children. According to a release, “the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department is designated as the lead agency for the grant formally called the Preschool Development Grant, Birth to Five. CYFD applied collaboratively with the Department of Health and Public Education Department for this one-year award that includes the option of applying for further funding for additional years.” The grant includes the following: a statewide birth to five needs assessment and data gathering process through public forums; development of statewide strategic plan; statewide early learning media campaign; workforce training activities and professional development for childcare providers; and an online family engagement tool that will allow childhood programs to self-evaluate.
The New Mexico Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutionality of a law that permits the state to lend textbooks and educational materials to private school students. The decision affects approximately 26,000 students attending 150 private K12 schools. The lawsuit was opened several years ago when two individuals sued the New Mexico Department of Education and an Albuquerque private school stating that they violated the state constitution that prohibits the use of public funding to benefit private or religious orientated entities.
Preceptor Tau chapter of Beta Sigma Phi honored a local member of 47 years with the International Award of Distinction last month at their annual Christmas celebration held at WNMU. Maria Elena Sanchez, was honored for going above and beyond in all aspects of Beta Sigma Phi and received a medal with her name engraved on it in addition to a framed certificate proclaiming her accomplishment. Maria has held the office of President 7 times, Vice President twice, Recording Secretary four times, Corresponding Secretary three times and treasurer ten times. In addition, she has held chairmanships on the social, service and ways and means committees. One of her biggest accomplishments was to organize the 2008 state convention in Silver City. Congratulations to Maria Elena Sanchez!
An engineering outreach program focused in Deming is being put together by members New Mexico State University’s Society of Women Engineers. The program called SWENext will offer youth in Deming an opportunity to become part of the Society of Women Engineers through age 18 at no cost to student. The program is designed to encourage youth to discover careers in STEM which is comprised of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Currently, the group is accepting donations to fund the program in order to purchase teaching materials.