CSC’s College Readiness Initiative (CRI) has launched its initial project in partnership with the Gadsden Independent Schools in southern New Mexico. CRI is working with seniors at Gadsden High School to prepare them for the ACT college entrance exam. The goal of the program is to raise their ACT test scores high enough to avoid having to take remedial courses in their first year of college. “Currently, remedial students and the State of New Mexico are paying nearly $22 million annually for remedial courses and on average, taking one remedial course drops the six-year bachelor’s degree attainment rate from 77 percent to 17 percent, while taking a second remedial course reduces the rate to 5 percent.” said CRI Director Javier Rojo (pictured above).
Molino de la Isla Farmers Cooperative in Pecos, New Mexico, has expanded its farming operations this year. Coop President and Founder Ralph Vigil reports that the coop tripled its acreage this season and expects to produce a bumper crop of organic vegetables and its specialty crop, chicos. With assistance from CODECE, Molino de la Isla Coop formed a marketing agreement with the nearby Glorieta Camps Conference Center to sell its produce to the Center’s food services department. Also, the Glorieta Camps has been sending groups to youth volunteers to help Molino weed and tend to the field crops this summer.
Saucillo del Norte Cooperative in Albuquerque’s South Valley is selling regularly at the RailYards Market on weekends. Located in the historic Barelas Neighborhood, the Rail Yards Market provides a local market for organic vegetables produced this summer by the Saucillo del Norte Coop.
CSC Executive Director Arturo Sandoval met recently in Ojo Encino with farmer/members of Hasbidito, which is a Native non-profit organization that works to create community development through various projects that engage residents in the Eastern Navajo Nation. Two of their current projects include a Backyard Gardening Initiative and the Tri-Community Mobile Farmers’ Market. Their projects work in conjunction to engage community members of all ages in growing and eating fresh, healthy produce.
The discussion with Hasbidito focused on the cooperative farming model CODECE is successfully developing across New Mexico as a possible next developmental step for Hasbidito’s farming projects.