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April 30, 2002

SDE Altering Cycle of Poverty in New Mexico Through School-Age Care Programs; Applications Sought by June 5

(Santa Fe, NM)- The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) is seeking proposals for funding from its School-Age Childcare and Family Support Program. The program provides children ages five to eight and their parents in the New Mexico Works/Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program with quality before- and after-school programs, holiday and summer programs and parent education. The application deadline is June 5.

"The School-Age Care and Family Support Program offers children the same advantages that are available to more affluent children and helps them to understand the factors that lead to self-sufficiency and the ability to work. Through this program, we are helping to alter the generational cycle of poverty in New Mexico," said Jim Bianca, the SDE's School-Age TANF coordinator.

Approximately $2.2 million will be awarded by the SDE on June 28 for FY 2003, which begins on July 1 and ends on June 30, 2003. Funding is open to public schools and school districts working alone or in partnership with nonprofit community-based agencies, community colleges and/or universities. Schools must apply through their school districts.

Programs must include a strong emphasis on literacy and the arts based on the New Mexico Content Standards and Benchmarks, the local school's Educational Plan for Student Success (EPSS), parent education and parent involvement.

"Our goal is to integrate literacy in creative ways into the school-age care programs and build the capacity of parents to significantly improve outcomes for their children. As with many of our initiatives, we are striving to support a child's emerging skills so that he or she can move forward. By increasing literacy proficiency, we can better prepare children for future success," Bianca said.

Launched in 1998-99, the School-Age Care and Family Support Program is serving nearly 3,400 children. The program is funded by the New Mexico Works Act and SDE administrative funds.

For more information, contact Jim Bianca, the SDE's School-Age TANF coordinator, at 505-827-6625 or