Communities In Schools Expands Services into New Mexico

Santa Fe for Students has broadened its reach by becoming the New Mexico State affiliate of Communities In Schools.

October 22, 2012

Contact: Julia Bergen
P: 505-954-1880

Gary Chapman
P: 703-518-2578

Arlington, Va. – Communities In Schools, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to empowering students to stay in school and achieve in life, is proud to announce its expansion into New Mexico. Following 15 years as a local leader in providing integrated student services at two public elementary schools in the area, Santa Fe for Students has broadened its reach by becoming the New Mexico State affiliate of Communities In Schools.

The newly established Communities In Schools of New Mexico will carry on the well-established 15-year partnership with Santa Fe Public Schools focused on supporting elementary schools in which up to 98 percent of students live under the poverty level. Communities In Schools of New Mexico's programs at Salazar and Agua Fria Elementary schools, include literacy and mentoring under teacher guidance; a Healthy Schools program supporting full-time nurses at both schools; parental and family support including parent education, medical and dental services and emergency funds; annual distribution of over 3000 books to students, many of whom have never owned a book.

Santa Fe for Students was founded as the Salazar Partnership in 1998 by Santa Fe's William and Georgia Carson in response to an urgent request for help from the principal of Salazar Elementary School whose students were struggling to succeed. Over the past 15 years, the Carsons have built a strong organization dedicated to supporting the needs of high risk children. The Carsons set out to devise a plan to ensure that Santa Fe for Students' good work would not be lost as they stepped down. The Carsons succession plan has led to joining with the highly successful national education organization of Communities in Schools. Communities In Schools of New Mexico will bring programs to underachieving schools, not just in Santa Fe, but across the state.

"Every 26 seconds a student drops out of school. Communities In Schools works within the public school system to address underlying factors that impede student success,” said Gary Chapman, Executive Vice President of the National Network. “We serve the most vulnerable students in districts that struggle with the effects of poverty. Our role is to open up the eyes of students, parents and faculty members to the opportunities around student achievement and lifelong success. Our expansion to New Mexico will build off the great success of Santa Fe for Students while ensuring that more students will receive significant support through their elementary and secondary education. We extend our gratitude to William and Georgia Carson for giving us the opportunity to broaden our reach across the state."

Thanks to a number of funders, Communities In Schools of New Mexico has hired a dynamic executive director in Julia Bergen. Bergen has strong ties to the Santa Fe community and Northern New Mexico.

About Communities In Schools
Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Through a school-based coordinator, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to critical community resources, tailored to local needs. Working in nearly 2,700 schools, in the most challenged communities in 28 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools serves nearly 1.26 million young people and their families every year. It has become the nation's leading dropout prevention organization, and the only one proven to both increase on-time graduation rates and reduce dropout rates. Visit our website at www.communitiesinschools.org.

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