Tag Archives: new mexico

Keeping Kids Active at Mariano Lake

The remote town of Crown Point is located in northwestern New Mexico, near the Arizona border and the vast Navajo Indian Reservation. Many of the American Indian families in this area generate income by making and selling jewelry and pottery. A few families maintain small herds of livestock. Unemployment is high, and many parents rely upon public assistance as their only means to afford the cost of feeding and clothing their children.

Because of the remoteness of the area in which the school sits, Mariano Lake has a dormitory for students to board during the week and return home on weekends and during holidays.

Our affiliated project, the Mariano Lake Community School, is located about 24 miles southwest of Crown Point. The school educates 130 children from Kindergarten to 6th grade — 98% of the students at the school are from low income families. Because of the remoteness of the area in which the school sits, Mariano Lake has a dormitory for students to board during the week and return home on weekends and during holidays.

A long-time volunteer coordinator

“Our volunteer coordinator at Mariano Lake is Barbara. She has worked at the school for many years. Her title at the school is Home Living Specialist since she manages the school’s dormitory, and the kids keep her hopping,” explained our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“The dorm is currently caring for sixteen children, eleven girls and five boys. Barbara is big on keeping the kids occupied. They do a lot of reading and sight words to improve their literacy. She has one dorm aide, Ann, who helps her with our sponsorship program.”

The dorms at Mariano Lake offer children who often don’t have the support of their parents a safe place to sleep and learn.

“When I visited Barbara in 2019, she gave me a big envelope of progress reports, letters, and pictures of the kids getting school supplies, thanks to their sponsors,” said Renée.

Helping kids stay active

“Barbara said many of the children’s parents are working in Colorado or Texas, are deceased, or simply gone. Those kids without parents stay with relatives on weekends, holidays, and breaks. Due to unstable home environments, poverty, and emotional issues, some of the children have a difficult time with good behavior in the dorm. They get upset and act out. Barbara and Ann work hard to help the kids feel cared for and try to keep them busy so they don’t become bored and frustrated.”

“Barbara would like to do more activities for them, but funding is always a problem. She would like to be considered for Hope In Action funds for materials and supplies for the boys’ and girls’ dorms. Not just practical needs, but fun things too. I told her we would be happy to help when she submitted requests for funding. We at Children Incorporated understand the detrimental effects that poverty has on children, especially those living without their parents, and we want to do what we can to help keep children’s minds active so they can always be learning whether in school, at home, or in their dorms.”

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How do I sponsor a child in the United States?

You can sponsor a child in the United States in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Comfort at Home and at School

About half the students at our affiliated project, the Dzilth Community School in New Mexico, live at the school during the week, as the distance from their homes in the remote areas of the Navajo Nation make a daily commute impossible. Furthermore, due to widespread, debilitating unemployment in the area surrounding the school, families struggle to afford even the most basic necessities. As a result, very few of the students have ever eaten a balanced diet or known what it means to be properly cared for.

Thankfully, the students at the Dzilth Community School receive three nutritious meals a day, as well as educational support — something these deserving Native American children need desperately.

Thankfully, the students at the Dzilth Community School receive three nutritious meals a day, as well as educational support — something these deserving Native American children need desperately. Additionally, thanks to our generous sponsors, children at the school also receive school supplies, clothes, and other items that help them to be comfortable and happy when they are at home on the weekends and during holidays.

Visiting Dzilth Community School

“In late 2019, I visited our volunteer coordinators, Phyllis and Karen, at the Dzilth Community School. Phyllis and Karen run a flawless sponsorship program — they are great record keepers, and the sponsored students also create beautiful cards and letters for the sponsors almost once a month,” explained Renée Kube, Children Incorporated’s Director of U.S. Programs.

Phyllis and Karen pictured with two of our sponsored children

“Phyllis works in the main office and Karen is the school librarian. The first half of our meeting was in the library and included a nice chat with two 8th grade students in our sponsorship program, Norah and Lincoln*. Norah has been in the Children Incorporated program since 2015 and Lincoln since 2018. They were both very thankful for the program and wanted to know how we found their sponsors and where their sponsors live.”

After our chat with the students, we got to meet the parents of a sponsored child named Allison.* Allison’s parents were so thankful for the program. For a while her dad did not have a job, and money was very tight. They were so appreciative of the program and said it was so good to know that their child’s needs were cared for by their sponsors,” said Renée.

A nice home for Parker

“Next, I headed to a home visit; we visited a sponsored child named Parker’s* mom whom I had visited two years prior. During our visit in 2017, Parker and her mom lived in the grandmother’s small, isolated house down a muddy road about fifteen or twenty minutes from the school. Since then, Parker’s mom has qualified for Navajo Housing Authority (NHA) housing and is living closer to school in a new three-bedroom single-story home on a paved road lined with other NHA houses.”

“Parker’s mom was so thrilled to show off their home, and I was thrilled to see it. Parker has her own room and also has use of the third bedroom for her books and art supplies. She has a very generous sponsor who gives her large additional gifts. When Parker moved into her new home, she was able to go to the store and purchase new bedding, rugs, lighting, chairs, bathroom items and more.”

*Names changed to protect the children.

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How do I sponsor a child in the United States?

You can sponsor a child in the United States in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in the United States that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

A Note to Remember

The remote town of Newcomb is situated on the Navajo Indian Reservation, amid the incredible desert beauty of northwestern New Mexico. The Reservation comprises more than 27,000 square miles of spectacular but inhospitable countryside, extending into both Utah and Arizona. Despite its massive scale and rich cultural history, residents of the Reservation are desperately poor. Newcomb is no exception. A trading post (which includes an impressive Navajo artifact museum) and a fish hatchery offer the only steady employment opportunities.

“She recalled how the impact had been profound, and she wishes all principals would give their staff the encouragement and time to manage the sponsorship program.”

Where the water comes out

Due to widespread, debilitating unemployment, area families struggle to afford even the most basic necessities as they grapple with the effects of poverty. For this reason, the Tohaali’ Community School (whose name means “where the water comes out” in Navajo, due to the creek flowing nearby) is essential to this area of New Mexico. Here, children receive nutritious meals, encouragement, and a quality education — the key to breaking the cycle of poverty so that students may rise above the difficult economic circumstances from which they come.

“Tohaali’ Community School’s  closest post office is in Newcomb, New Mexico, which is about 16 miles away. There are 149 students in grades kindergarten through eighth. Almost all of them come from impoverished families,” said Children Incorporated Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

Making an incredible difference

Renèe with Delores

“While I  was visiting the school in 2019, the principal, Delores , greeted me with a  great deal of warmth. Delores has been principal at several schools over her long career, and it was at one of her former schools where she first became familiar with our sponsorship organization. She recalled how the impact had been profound, and she wishes all principals would give their staff the encouragement and time to manage the sponsorship program.”

“She told me about how, at her former school, one of the families was provided for through our Hope In Action Fund, which was life changing for them. The mother wrote her a long note inside a greeting card, and Delores keeps that card in her office desk drawer to this day. Whenever she needs a special boost after a rough day, she will read that note and know that we can, working together, make an incredible difference,” said Renée.

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How do I sponsor a child in the United States?

You can sponsor a child in the United States in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in United States that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

A School Full of Sponsored Children

Even by Navajo reservation standards, our affiliated project, the Lake Valley Boarding School, is located in an incredibly remote area of New Mexico. The school serves grades kindergarten through eighth, and there is a total of 32 students in attendance – each of which is sponsored through our sponsorship program.

“Over the years, there has been talk of closing the school and transporting the children to the nearest little town, which is Crownpoint, where the school has its post office box,” explained Children Incorporated Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“Since that time, we have been able to provide the items they requested as well as support students during the COVID-19 outbreak with food to take home while they moved to remote learning in 2020 and the spring of 2021,” said Renée.

“However, the school’s isolation makes the prospect of consolidation doubtful. The high desert region is arid, but it is not without rain. When the rains come, transportation in some areas comes to a virtual standstill. The mud is deep and thick, and many of the roads are in bad shape. Therefore, the school is quite essential for the few families that send their children there.”

Meeting Veronica and Jeannette

“Our volunteer co-coordinators at Lake Valley are Veronica and Jeanette. Both work in the school dormitory, as many of the children live on the outskirts of the districts, and the roads are sometimes too bad for a daily commute. The children stay in the dorm until Friday afternoon, and they return to the dorm on Sunday afternoon, except during summer, winter breaks and holidays. The ladies are a great and supportive team, and it’s obvious they’re devoted to every child,” said Renée.

Our co-volunteer coordinators, Jeanette and Veronica

“During my last visit to the school in 2019, we began our tour outside the main office when several boys ran up to show Veronica and Jeanette their team’s sports trophies. Of the 36 students from the area who competed in the track event, five were from Lake Valley. Jeanette and Veronica introduced me to George and Douglas who live with their parents and one sister. Their mom works as a clerical assistant, and their father has erratic work as a laborer. His pay is good when he can find work, but he goes for long periods without. Their combined pay is below poverty level.”

“This is the situation for most of our sponsored kids at Lake Valley. Work is inconsistent, and daily commutes are grueling,” said Renée.

Supporting special needs and beyond

“After meeting the children, we then went on to the dorm and discussed our program. The ladies do all of their shopping at the Walmart in Farmington because they feel the funds stretch farthest. At the time, they requested Hope In Action Funding for eyeglasses for two of the students who have vision issues due to their albinism. Veronica and Jeanette also requested to be considered if any funds become available for their playground, books in the dorm, tablets for the dorm, arts and crafts supplies for the dorm, and seeds and soil for the school greenhouse.”

“Since that time, we have been able to provide the items they requested as well as support students during the COVID-19 outbreak with food to take home while they moved to remote learning in 2020 and the spring of 2021,” said Renée.

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How do I sponsor a child in the united states?

You can sponsor a child in the United States in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in United States that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

The Great Risk to the Navajo Nation

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham raised concerns in the past weeks about the “incredible spikes” in coronavirus cases in the Navajo Nation, which she feels could be detrimental to some tribal nations that are already living in vulnerable situations. According to NPR, after New York and New Jersey, the Navajo Nation has the highest coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. 

Today, we want to shed some light on the harsh realities that families living in the Navajo Nation experience — and how our sponsorship program, volunteer coordinators, and special COVID-19 Fund are helping children and families in need in these unprecedented times.

Today, we want to shed some light on the harsh realities that families living in the Navajo Nation experience.

Understanding the Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation is an American Indian territory that covers a large amount of land — over 17 million acres — and encompasses portions of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southeastern Utah.

It also holds the famous Four Corners Monument, where one can stand on a quadripoint and be in four U.S. states — Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado — at the same time. The adjacent Utah land is part of the Ute Mountain and Southern Ute Reservations.

The largest portion of the Navajo Nation lies within Arizona, where the Hopi Reservation is located and surrounded on all sides by the Navajo Reservation.

The Navajo Nation land in New Mexico is nicknamed the “Checkerboard” area because the federal government attempted to diversify Navajo lands with non-native lands. Thus, the Navajo lands in New Mexico are intermingled with fee lands, owned by both Navajo and non-Navajo, and federal and state areas under various jurisdictions. Additionally, there are three recognized groups of Navajos living in New Mexico outside of the regular reservation boundaries: the Ramah Navajo, the Alamo Navajo, and the Tohajiilee Navajo Reservations.

Abhorrent Poverty in the U.S.

The Navajo Nation is the largest American Indian tribe in the United States. While it makes up just 1.7% of the total U.S. population, it makes up 10.6% of the New Mexico population.

In New Mexico, 27% of Navajo households are headed by single mothers, and  8.4% of Navajo children are being raised by a grandparent. About 16% live in multi-generational households.

In January 2018, a reporter for the Navajo Times researched the well-being of women and children on the Navajo Nation and found that New Mexico children were at the top of the national list for poverty and food insecurity, and at the bottom for education and overall well-being. Per the report: “This financial insecurity within families leads to fewer opportunities for young people as well as a variety of health, cognitive, and emotional risk factors for children.”

We are grateful to be able to support children and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The report also mentioned that “[c]hildren who grow up in poverty are also more likely to be food insecure, to suffer from adverse childhood experiences, like abuse and homelessness, and to live in poverty as adults.” It cited a National Institute of Justice study that found nearly half of Native American women reported domestic violence in the home. The research confirmed what many social scientists already knew — poverty, abuse, and insecurity drastically affect the well-being of children.

While infrastructure and utility services are improving slowly in the Navajo Nation, there is still a long way to go. Many roads are unpaved and are instead small dirt paths that contribute to isolation and lack of access to services. Access to the power grid is almost essential, yet there are still many families without it.

A May 2019 investigative report by NPR stated about 10% of Navajos on the reservation live without electricity, and almost 40% have to haul their water and use outhouses. More than a quarter of Navajos have experienced problems with electricity, the Internet, and the safety of their drinking water.

For many, finally getting access to the power grid can be life-changing. In the NPR report, families shared their gratefulness for being able to use nebulizers, and for their children having bright, clear lighting to study at night — as well as having the Internet. Families were also able to charge their phones and store food safely through refrigeration. One reporter shared seeing a group of teenagers in battered old cars in a hotel parking lot. They were clustered as close to the hotel as they could get so they could use the hotel’s Internet to complete some of their homework assignments.

While it is impossible to talk about the Navajo Nation without addressing poverty, it is important to stress there are many strengths of the native culture.

The strengths of children and their families

While it is impossible to talk about the Navajo Nation without addressing poverty, it is important to stress there are many strengths of the native culture. For example, many Navajo children can speak both their native language as well as English, and research shows that bi-lingual children can have better problem-solving skills than children who can speak just one language.

Another strength is their tie to their lands. While many other native peoples were moved from their ancestral lands, most of the Navajo people were able to maintain this vital connection.

Our Work to Help

We work with twelve affiliated projects in Arizona and nine in New Mexico to support children and their families in need. During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are providing support to our volunteer coordinators — thanks to donations from our sponsors and donors — who are providing meals to children who are out of school. Many of our coordinators are personally dropping off bags of food that include fruit, juice, sandwiches and other simple items that children eat for lunch and dinner.

We are incredibly grateful for these partnerships, and to our sponsors and donors who are providing crucial support at this time — and all year long.

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How can I donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund?

We have created a COVID-19 Response Fund so that we can support children in crisis in the upcoming months. Donations will be used to provide food and emergency supplies to the children in our program who are in immediate need.

DONATE TODAY

Making a Difference in the Lives of Children

Companies choose to partner with charitable organizations for a variety of reasons, and a successful corporate partnership benefits both the nonprofit and its sponsor. When you make the decision to partner with Children Incorporated, you are choosing to make a lasting impact not only on impoverished children, but also on their families, and entire communities as well.

About Children Incorporated

Founded by Jeanne Clarke Wood in 1964, Children Incorporated is an international nonprofit organization with a steadfast vision: to provide children living in poverty with the basic needs and education that they would otherwise go without – the tools that they need to break the cycle of poverty.

When you make the decision to partner with Children Incorporated, you are choosing to make a lasting impact not only on impoverished children, but also on their families, and entire communities as well.

Children Incorporated passionately believes that children everywhere deserve education, hope, and opportunity. We provide sustainable solutions that enable children around the world to receive such necessities as food, clothing, health care, and an education. These essentials, so often taken for granted, are vital to a child’s growth – both as an individual and as a contributing member of their local community.

Our Work

Children Incorporated partners with already-established schools, orphanages, homes, and childcare centers to address the specific needs of the children they serve. Each of our approximately 300 projects has its own local staff member who administers our program on a volunteer basis. We also maintain many special funds, such as our U.S. and International Feeding Programs Funds; we provide assistance for income-generating projects, health care and educational assistance programs; and we support critical projects, like school expansions, medical clinic repairs, housing improvements, and more.

Read more about our special funds:

U.S. Feeding Programs Fund

Mosquito Net Fund

International Feeding Programs Fund

Warm Clothing Fund

Skills Training Programs Fund

How to get involved

Most often, companies choose to sponsor a whole project rather than individual children. This type of approach allows a company to have an even greater impact in the lives of many children, as well as in a community as a whole. It is our aim to work with you as a team to bring basic needs assistance and programs that teach self-sustainability to children and communities in need.

Read about our special projects around the world:

Building Homes in Bolivia

Providing Dorms and Beds in India

Feeding Programs in the Philippines

Hearing Aids for Children in Lebanon

Gardens for Schools in Arizona

Computers for Students in Kentucky

By partnering with us, you help meet the needs of the children that we serve, so that they may grow, learn, and have the opportunities in life that they deserve.

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