In June, Opportunity Santa Fe and the AmeriCorps VISTAs partnered with Santa Fe Baby Fund to assemble 450 early childhood activity bags for families with young children in Santa Fe, to provide enriching early childhood resources to families during extended stay at home orders and early childhood program closures. The bags, tailored to children under age 1, ages 1-2, and ages 3-4 included a picture book, basic craft supplies, age-appropriate blocks or snap beads, and other toys and supplies appropriate for young children. The bags also included information on early childhood and family resources in Santa Fe, early childhood activity suggestions, including pre-math activities, outdoor activities, a kids “census” activity and socio-emotional development activities, as well as bound copies of 60 activities from the UNM Everyday JUNK series, all using common items found at home. Most of the printed materials and books were English-Spanish bilingual and many went to Spanish-speaking and bilingual families.
Bags were distributed through our partners at Gerard’s House, Fathers New Mexico, Head Start, Many Mothers, Mother Tongue Project, Santa Fe Community College, and Santa Fe Indian Center and SFPS Adelante, as well as parents engaged in the SFCF Expanding Opportunity for Young Families project. Several Opportunity Santa Fe Collaborative Working Groups contributed funds or materials to the project, including Math Amigos, Reading Group, and Community Educators Network Members.
We wish to thank all contributors to the project, which included:
- Brindle Foundation
- Bruce Galpert and Heather Wood Galpert
- Math Amigos (Opportunity Santa Fe Collaborative Working Group)
- Mother Tongue Project
- Nan Schwanfelder
- Robert Rodriguez at Paper Tiger Print Shop
- Santa Fe Baby Fund at the Santa Fe Community Foundation
- Santa Fe Botanical Garden
- The Reading Group (Opportunity Santa Fe Collaborative Working Group)
- AmeriCorps VISTAs (Supporting Opportunity Santa Fe)
We’re also looking forward to the second part of this project – helping assemble books bags for these families in August, as part of a large book order by Santa Fe Baby Fund and Santa Fe Public Library.