The remote town of Crown Point is in northwestern New Mexico, near the Arizona border and the vast Navajo Indian Reservation. Within the town is our affiliated project, the Lake Valley Boarding School. As one of the smaller schools with only 33 children in attendance in the Bureau of Indian Affairs system, the Lake Valley Boarding School provides a safe haven for Navajo students whose homes are far away and families are desperately poor. In additional to the educational opportunities the children get at the school, the Children Incorporated sponsorship program helps each and every one of them to receive the basic needs they require on a regular basis.
Were it not for the Lake Valley Boarding School, our sponsored and unsponsored children coming from impoverished homes would have little opportunity to rise above their difficult socioeconomic circumstances. In Crown Point, there is virtually no employment for adults. Broken homes, alcoholism, and inadequate food are a constant problem in many households, and most parents struggle to afford to take care of their kids. Thankfully, the children are able to stay at Lake Valley Boarding School during the school week, so five our seven days of the week they are guaranteed three nutritious meals a day, and a healthy, supportive environment.
Every student supported
While visiting New Mexico, U.S. Projects Specialist Shelley Oxenham met with our volunteer coordinators, Alice and Judy at the Lake Valley Boarding School. Alice is a retired schoolteacher and Judy is currently a teacher at the school. It is rare with our affiliated projects that ever child in the school is enrolled in the Children Incorporated program – especially for schools within the U.S. where the attendance is usually high. Also, many times having more than 20 children enrolled in our program is too much work for our volunteer coordinator because they typically already have many different jobs within the school. But thanks to the small number of student at the school, not only are all the children in our program (currently 30 with sponsors, and 3 waiting for sponsors), but it allows Alice and Judy to give the children the individual support they need to overcome adversity in their lives.
When Alice is preparing to purchase items for the students thanks to funds donated from their sponsors, she directly asks the teachers what the students need most based on their observations. The teachers, Alice tells Shelley, always have the answers ready for her. They know exactly what the children need because they see them every day, and know that they are coming to class without, whether it is proper winter clothes, or good shoes, or hygiene items. Alice also provides classroom resources that everyone can benefit from like school supplies, lotion, hand sanitizers or tissues.
Although it is unfortunate that every child at the Lake Valley Boarding School is living in poverty therefore needs the support of the Children Incorporated program, it is wonderful to know that such caring people like Alice and Judy are able to help every child in the school – and thankfully we are able to help the unsponsored children through our Shared Hope Fund in the meantime until they get a sponsor of their very own.