Morris Pongratz. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MORRIS PONGRATZ
Candidate for LAPS Board
District 3 (Aspen)
Kudos to New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor, Howie Morales! In an Op Ed in last Sunday’s Albuquerque Journal (https://www.abqjournal.com/1377636/after-school-programs-are-next-education-push.html) he wrote of the benefits of Out-of-School Time informal education. He wrote, “Across our state, many thousands of kids are alone and unsupervised – or engaging in risky behaviors – between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. while parents are still at work. Quality after-school programs give parents peace of mind, providing a safe place for children to go when they are not in school, with supportive and structured educational activities under the careful eye of loving adults. They are frequently a lifeline for low-income parents’ continued employment.”
I am familiar with one such program active in three of our elementary schools; I’m sure there are many others. Kiwanis-sponsored “K-Kids” clubs are at Aspen, Barranca and Chamisa. K-Kids is a student-led community service organization that operates under school regulations and draws its members from the student body. Kiwanian Don Casperson is the advisor at the Aspen and Barranca clubs. Kiwanian Roger Stutz is the advisor at the Chamisa club. These clubs are indebted to the school’s faculty sponsor at each club.
It is my hope that future school boards will recognize, facilitate, and promote Out-of-School Time informal education. We have lots of well-qualified retirees in Los Alamos. Let’s get them involved in Out-of-School Time informal education!