The El Valle Community Center is launching a Farm to Table initiative that will link farmers from the El Valle region with local residents in need, especially seniors and children enrolled in supplemental food programs. Utilizing grant funds provided by the New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association, the initiative will support the purchase of locally grown produce and re-distribute it at low or no cost to residents experiencing hardship. The goal is to make fresh, nutritious food available to the neediest in the community, while simultaneously supporting agricultural producers during this economically difficult period.
This project will directly benefit the community along both health and economic sectors. Access to locally produced foods can improve health outcomes in participants by elevating the nutritional value of meals and improving diets. The nutritional quality of fresh local foods also supports healthy child development, increasing learning capacity and raising school performance. Support for farmers will provide baseline economic stability within farming households and increase the self-efficacy and self-sufficiency of the community overall.
Distribution dates and locations are still being determined. To register for the produce box distribution, visit the Farm to Table program webpage on the El Valle Community Center website. Download and complete a registration form and mail to the address on the form.
If you are a farmer and are interested in participating in the program, email us at email@example.com or leave a voicemail at 575-421-0808.
Census deadline moved up by one month
After first shifting the deadline for Census data collection to the end of October, the deadline to participate in the 2020 Census has again been moved - this time to September 30th, a full month earlier than had previously been publicized by the U.S. Census Bureau. This means that time to be counted in the Census is running out. New Mexico stands to lose billions of dollars over the next decade if there is not a complete count.
We urge everyone to complete your Census today! You can do it online, over the phone, or by mail. If you need help, call the El Valle Community Center at 575-421-0808 and we will have a census worker contact you directly. New Mexico deserves to be counted. If there was ever a time to come together in support of everyone in New Mexico — it is now.
Distance learning as school re-open
As schools prepare to re-open for the Fall with remote learning, challenges for those without a home internet connection remain. Districts and state agencies are working to resolve these issues, but many families and students are still without connectivity at home as the new school year starts. The West Las Vegas School system is offering an "IT Hotline" for students and families to call if they do not have an internet connection at home (505)426-2565, but there may be a wait time before receiving a response. The Las Vegas City School district IT staff is also working with families to locate options for students living in areas with neither internet nor cell phone coverage.
For those students and families that have internet access but may not know how to use Chromebooks or Google classroom, the Las Vegas City School district has put together a training program for teachers, parents, caregivers, and students to learn how to logon to a Chromebook and how to use Google classroom, Google Meet, and Google Drive in ways that meet their district's needs. The Las Vegas City School IT Department also offers one-on-one training options to district families for these tools. Call John Tierman at 505-454-5755 for more informatoin or to schedule a session.
Additional online learning resources
The El Valle Community Center has put together a collection of online learning resources, grouped by grade level, for elementary and middle school students. The materials cover a full range of subject areas and provide a mix of printable activities (for work offline) and activities requiring online engagement. These resources will be augmented throughout the school year, with a focus on the humanities, community storytelling, and local history and culture. Please check back for exciting new additions in the coming weeks!
The El Valle Community Center is pleased and honored to announce that it has become a sub-recipient of a “Sustaining Communication, Resources and Community during the Pandemic” award offered jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the New Mexico Humanities Council (NMHC) through funding provided by the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. The grant, which is intended to support “general operating expenses or specific projects,” will allow the Community Center and Villanueva Library to continue operations during the pandemic period despite the disruption and discontinuation of traditional funding streams. In addition to providing ongoing outreach, information, and learning resources through digital and print channels, the grant has allowed the Center to launch a “Community History, Community Story” program that focuses on the collection, preservation, and showcasing of local history, culture and story. The project will engage the community in gathering local history resources and producing and showcasing these in both real-space and online exhibits. The program will also support younger members of the community in gathering and organizing these resources, enabling them to contribute and connect to their community, its traditions, and its past.
The award period extends to July 31, 2021. For more information about the grant and this project, please visit the “Community History, Community Story” page on our website under the “Programs” tab.
The El Valle Community Center is continuing to host small, outdoor, socially distanced events every other Saturday in August This coming Saturday, August 8th, from 9-12 noon, we will continue our Saturday morning Rummage Sale and Free Library Book Giveaway. The library will also host an Outdoor Story Time. Social distancing and masks required. For more information, leave a message at 575-421-0808 and we will call you back.
On Saturday, August 1, the El Valle Community Center hosted a Back to School Giveaway, providing over 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to students in the Valley. By 2:00 p.m., over 60 cars had come through the drive-up event and well over 100 backpacks had been given out to children from Kindergarten to high school level. Each vehicle stopped first at a Census table where state Census workers provided guidance and information about the importance of completing Census forms.
This year, backpacks included notebooks, pens and pencils, scissors and markers, folders and pencil bags, with younger students receiving crayons and older students getting flash drives. Ear buds and other small gifts were also included in the packs. Thanks to generous donations from the Las Vegas Literacy Council and the 100% Community team, each student also received at least two free books in their packs. The extraordinary generosity of these and other community organizations made this great giveaway possible and gave over 100 students a good positive and supportive start to a challenging school year ahead.
El Valle Community Center maintains these newspostings and distributes them through a newsletter. Subscribe.