Albuquerque — Twenty four school districts, including Rio Rancho Public Schools, sent representatives to Albuquerque to receive supplies and take them back to their communities: 

Secretary of Education Veronica García recently announced the distribution of nearly 2,000 backpacks with school supplies, food and other essentials for homeless public school students. 

“Today is a wonderful example of community support for student success. When basic needs are not met, they become barriers to attending school and learning. The supplies distributed today will go a long way for some of our neediest students, especially during these hard economic times,” said García.

It’s estimated that New Mexico public schools will serve between 8,000 and 10,000 homeless students in New Mexico during the 2009-2010 school year. Homeless student programs are funded through the McKinney Vento federal grant under Title I. Services include everything from tutoring, school supplies, and GED/ACT/SAT testing fees, to emergency supplies like food, clothing, hygiene products, and referrals for counseling and other medical services including those related to domestic violence.

The supplies, donated by Feed the Children, an Oklahoma City-based nonprofit, arrived by semi truck at the Public Education Department’s Albuquerque office.  They were unloaded by about 100 volunteers from Kirtland Air Force Base, the New Mexico National Guard, Rio Rancho High School athletics, and Tom Growney Equipment, Inc.  

Other districts involved included Alamogordo Public Schools, Artesia Public Schools, Albuquerque Public Schools, Aztec Municipal Schools, Belen Consolidated Schools, Carlsbad Municipal Schools, Clovis Municipal Schools, Deming Public Schools, Espanola Public Schools, Farmington Municipal Schools, Fort Sumner Municipal Schools, Gadsden Independent Schools, Gallup McKinley County Schools, Las Cruces Public Schools, Lordsburg Municipal Schools, Los Lunas Public Schools, Loving Municipal Schools, Moriarty-Edgewood Schools, Santa Fe Public Schools, Silver Consolidated Schools, Socorro Consolidated Schools, Truth or Consequences Municipal Schools, and West Las Vegas Public Schools.