Letter To The Editor: A Way To Make A Difference

By DIANNA REICHELT, Director
Reach & Rise Mentoring Program

Early last week, information was published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ranking the 50 states on various factors that indicate child well-being. New Mexico is a jaw-dropping 49th – even more astounding, our state has hovered in this area (dropping to 50th position in 2013) for several years!

Child poverty rates around the state are increasing steadily, and programs to help these children are few and far between. Looking at this information, coupled with the start of the 2015-2016 school year quickly approaching, and everything that goes along with it – the stress of homework, re-adjusting to the school schedule, and making new friends – and it is easy to imagine this can be a difficult, overwhelming time for a child.

Los Alamos is widely praised throughout the state and beyond, as being a great community, due to the affluent nature of the community. Even in a community like Los Alamos, there are children (and families) struggling and in need. We must do better for ALL of our children. It sounds daunting, impossible even, but there is a way to make a difference – Volunteer.

The Family YMCA is proud to be the only YMCA in New Mexico and one of 38 states that is currently offering the FREE Reach and Rise® Mentoring Program. This program matches youth (ages 6-17) with a trained, caring adult mentor. Mentoring is an excellent opportunity to volunteer in the community and make a difference to a child who would benefit from having a caring adult in their life.

There will be an informational event at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10 at 5:30 p.m. to answer questions and provide information about the Reach and Rise® Mentoring Program. To RSVP for the informational event, e-mail program coordinator Dianna Reichelt at reachandrise@laymca.org or call 505.662.3100.

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