Las Cumbres staff have been busy with additional activities outside of their normal day-to-day direct service work with clients. Extra-curricular activities by the various, dedicated teams have included Child Find Fairs and presentations at Back to School Institute and Aging in New Mexico events, as well as time spent with families sprucing up the preschool playground. Recent Child Find Fairs have transpired and are scheduled for families residing in the northern-most part of the state in El Rito and in Chama. Agency staff in mid-November set up screenings at El Rito Elementary School for families with children ages birth to three for hearing, vision, development and behavioral health screening. Especially exciting was the collaboration of agencies involved in the event that included the school district, YDI Head Start, Children’s Medical Services, Las Clinicas del Norte, and Las Cumbres’ Family Infant Toddler (FIT) and Confident Parenting Home Visiting teams. This was the first such screening opportunity for families in the area in four years. The next Child Find in which Las Cumbres will be involved will be held Friday, November 21, from 9am until 3pm, when another team of agency clinicians will be on hand at Tierra Amarilla Elementary School conducting additional, free developmental screenings including vision and hearing screening.
Child and Family Services Department Director Patty Shure and the Director of Family Educational Services and Conjunto Preschool, Delfinia Romero, gave a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren workshop as part of the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations’ 23rd Annual Back to School Family and Youth Leadership Institute, November 6th and 7th at Buffalo Thunder. Ms. Shure and Ms. Romero also presented on grandparents and grandparents' unique and often challenging roles raising grandchildren due to the absence of the children’s biological parents in conjunction with the 2014 New Mexico Conference on Aging: “A Diverse Community: Exploring Options, Expanding Horizons” in August staged by Con Alma Health Foundation. The presentation addressed the increasing numbers of grandparents involved in raising their grandchildren, reasons behind the increase, and a discussion of strategies to address the growing trend.
Las Cumbres’ Conjunto PreK and Therapeutic Preschool playground got a bighearted facelift with families and staff joining together to apply fresh sand and wood chips to the playground’s surface and sand boxes. The playground’s fence and wooden deck also received some overdue attention. Special acknowledgement is due to the Civitan Club of Santa Fe who donated $250 toward the purchase of sand and wood chips for the clean up.