36K books to be distributed to Santa Fe public schools

Reading Group of Santa Fe received a gift of 36,000 new books earlier this year and is currently distributing them to the schools with in the Santa Fe Public Schools district.

The organization, which focuses on improving reading proficiency, collaborated with the district and Youthworks to deliver and distribute books every Tuesday and Wednesday, starting last week. The books arrived in a trailer and required hours to unload and sort, according to a news release from Reading Quest, which partnered with the Reading Group for the project.

The books are designed for children’s home libraries and they get to choose which ones to take home. The Reading Group received the donations through the Molina Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on reducing disparities in access to education and health.

Legendary Civil rights activist to speak at Highlands ceremony

New Mexico Highlands University has announced that legendary American labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will be the guest speaker for the school’s virtual commencement ceremony May 15.

Born in New Mexico in 1930, Huerta worked with César Chávez to establish the Agricultural Workers Association, now the United Farm Workers, in 1962. She served as the organization’s vice president for four decades and played a critical role in many of the union’s accomplishment.

In 2002, she founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation for Community Organizing and is still its president. The foundation connects community-based organizations to state and national movements regarding voter’s rights, education reform, infrastructure improvements in low-income communities and advocates for greater equality for the LGBTQ community.

Over the years, Huerta has received numerous awards for her activism. She was the first Latina to be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 and received the United States’ Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights in 1998. Huerta received the Icons of American Civil Rights Movement Award from the National Civil Rights Museum in 2011 and the Medal of Freedom Award from President Barack Obama in 2012.

“She is a giant in the labor movement in the United States and has a civil rights and social justice record that is both impressive and unique,” NMHU President Sam Minner said in a news release. “I think Dolores Huerta will inspire our graduates to believe that they can make their positive mark on the world with determination, bravery, grit and compassion.”

SFCC to livestream virtual commencement ceremony

Santa Fe Community College announced it will hold its virtual commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. May 15. via livestream on YouTube and on local cable access Channel 16. The ceremony will salute graduates who completed their coursework during the spring or summer semesters. José Andrés, world-famous chef and humanitarian of World Central Kitchen, will give a congratulatory message to students during the event.

Santa Fe Community College President Becky Rowley congratulated students on their accomplishments in a news release, acknowledging the challenges of learning amid the coronavirus pandemic that left the campus mostly empty through the 2020-21 school year.

“Most of our students have spent the past year taking classes online,” Rowley said. “Some of our graduates needed to follow strict safety protocols to get hands-on skills and professional guidance such as our welding students and those in the health care field. Seeking an academic credential is always challenging and these students overcame the many obstacles they faced during the pandemic with the support of our dedicated faculty and staff who’ve supported these students on their educational journey.”

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