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PRESS RELEASE

October 9, 2002

SDE Observes Month of Young Adolescent in October

(Santa Fe, NM)- The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) will join with middle schools throughout the country in October to observe the sixth annual Month of the Young Adolescent, a national collaborative effort of education, health and youth-oriented organizations focused on the needs of children ages 10 to 15. The observance is being initiated by the National Middle School Association.

"During the period of early adolescence, young people make major decisions about their values, standards, attitudes and personal beliefs. It is essential that all of us - educators, parents, family members and the business community - help young adolescents succeed academically while meeting their social needs," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.

The focus of the observance is on four key concepts that will help young adolescents reach their potential:

  • The importance of parents being knowledgeable about young adolescents and being actively involved in their lives
  • The understanding that healthy bodies plus healthy minds equal healthy adolescents
  • The realization that the education young adolescents experience during this formative period of life will, in large measure, determine the future for all citizens and
  • The knowledge that every young adolescent should have the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams and aspirations, with postsecondary education a possibility for all.
We encourage everyone to ask, 'How can I help a young adolescent reach his or her potential?' When young adolescents succeed, communities prosper. They need support from the adults who care for them," said Christina Baca, the SDE's middle school coordinator.

For more information on young adolescents, contact Christina Baca at the SDE at (505) 827-6562 or cbaca@ped.state.nm.us .

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