Children’s Reading Alliance Program PageWRITAdmin2023-05-23T13:22:53-06:00
Children’s Reading Alliance (CRA)
Children’s Reading Alliance (CRA) is a separate but allied nonprofit also headquartered in CAASNM’s main building at 3880 Foothills. The CRA focuses on improving child literacy in Doña Ana County and puts several thousand books in the hands of children every year. www.childrensreadingalliance.org
Alana is a 24-year old single mother of a 4-year old also caring for a disabled mother. She lives in Deming, Luna County, but is facing eviction due to the high cost of her housing. Worse, her family feels unsafe due to continual verbal abuse and harassment.
Alana contacted the CAASNM offices where she was referred to the housing stability team. One of the CAASNM housing navigators started to explore alternate options in Deming,
which is a tight housing market. She interviewed previous landlords that she had worked with on the program, until finding one with a 2+ bedroom lower-rent apartment. She also worked to reassure the landlord about Alana and facilitated their meeting.
Finally, Alana was able to sign a lease and move in, with help finding furnishings.
Arabella developed “Shrinky Chains” as her business building project with Kids Can Youth Entrepreneur program, starting in 6th grade. She was recently a community spotlight on local radio stations. She makes keychains and wine glass charms, from symbols of the Southwest to sports teams. She learned marketing and public speaking, as well as marketing, financial management, and logistics.
Her experiences with Kids Can have also given her confidence and independence, which she says have made her more ready to succeed in college.
Rosa was living Deming, Luna County in a very abusive home with her aunt and uncle. 73; she had to leave but found herself homeless and was living in a motel. She came to the attention of Cece, a housing navigator with CAASNM’s housing stability program, at the local senior center who helped her apply for HUD and other programs. She was assisted with her HRSA application and was awarded three months of rent. She was also helped apply for a receive New Mexico stimulus and WIC benefits. Now, she is living in a new senior apartment with caring landlords and is ready to start her new life, even receiving a box of fruits and vegetables from WIC.
“The Community Action Agency has truly been a Godsend in my life. I was about to turn 73, in dire need, sick, homeless, without resources, depressed, unable to think or prioritize and terribly afraid. Once I contacted CAASNM, they never gave up on me. Because of CAASNM’s incredible humanity, dogged persistence and follow through, I now have an apartment, a home of my own, a sanctuary. I am no longer living in terror, anxiety, crying everyday with invading thoughts of suicide. Today my depression and ulcerative colitis are under control because I can keep medical appointments. My thinking is clearer now. CAASNM has restored my sense of self-worth and given me hope for a future where I might find purpose in service to others in need as I once was. How else can I ever express my thanks and gratitude for the quiet noble work CAASNM does every day?”
I’ve really enjoyed all of Kids Can, as it has taught me so many valuable skills, from marketing to public speaking and online sales. I always enjoy talking with customers and learning how to read people to find a product they would like. The program has helped me understand people in other aspects of my life, too, and I feel confident. My business has always been a way for me to be creative and try new things
Arabella is now matriculating to Caltech as a chemical engineering student
Thank you so much for empowering our family through the Individual Development Account award. We have increased our credit score, paid off our car and bought a home with an office for our business. Thank you for taking a chance on us and we look forward to updating you on our business ventures.
Annie is a participant in CAASNM’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) from Truth or Consequences. She is a grandmother helping raise grandchildren and she also cares for her sick mother. Annie is very thankful for this program because it allows her to care for her mom and grandchildren. She has three grandchildren who live with her and she takes care of four grandchildren that don’t. The program reimburses her for nutritious food for all seven children in addition to her disabled mom.
Annie is a very special lady and has gone through a lot. She has been doing childcare for a long time. She cared for her sick father and then her husband before they passed away and now she is caring for her mom. She took a part time job at night with Walmart in-order to buy Christmas presents for of all her grandchildren, her brother and 18 year old grandson who stays to look after the children and Annie’s mom while she is working. She is a true success because she perseveres with all of her hardships, but with a little help from CAASNM.
Annie’s Story, Nutritious food for the family
Jessica came to the first day of Kids Can Business Builders determined to do it alone. Our instructors could see no smile or willingness to join a group. As a group we shared what our hobbies are and what we do when we get home. Jessica loves to play video games all by herself after-school. Her favorite video game has a Llama character and is very popular with her peers. She felt like products with a llama would sell well at a Kids Can pop-up market. Then another young lady talked about how much she likes pink flamingos. They grouped their ideas together and created hand-woven “Flamas” and the “Flamaverse” (flamingos and llama together). A new friendship formed and Jessica’s perspective of group work has changed. She is happier and more willing to contribute her ideas in class discussion on business topics and we can see these two girls talking and laughing, eating after-school snack together.
A single mother of 3-year-old twins became a client of Thriving Families in 2019, referred by her physician. She was triaged to several community programs, including Aprendamos Early Intervention and HeadStart. She participated in an IDA program at CAASNM to save for education and which also improved her credit score. Her family became COVID-affected and was provided emergency assistance for utilities when she fell behind. Thriving Families continued its whole family approach to assist Bernice manage her family and also achieve her educational goals; she graduated with a degree in physiology from NMSU and will continue to her Master’s Degree.
Muhammad came from Pakistan and found the culture challenging as well as financially, caring for older parents and raising his children. CAASNM’s family financial empowerment program helped him save for college with an IDA and also learn about finances and saving so he could buy a home and pay for his board exams. He is now a 4th year medical student with one semester left. “CAASNM staff were very helpful and like family to me. They helped me get through their program very easily.”