LOS LUNAS—The 2020 Facebook Community Action Grants recipients have been announced and many local organizations will benefit from the money received.

Last year, nearly $170,000 was given out to various Valencia County groups who submitted applications in the fall. This year, 17 non-profits and schools were awarded a total of $210,000 in grants to support their work.

According to the press release, the Community Action Grants is an annual program created to address needs in Valencia County by putting the power of technology to use for community benefit, connecting people online or off, and improving STEM education.

“We are invested in the long-term vitality of the community and this year, 17 outstanding nonprofits and schools were awarded grants to support their work,” the release stated.

Belen Consolidated Schools was awarded $23,600 to fund a STEM lending library to ensure teachers have the science and technology resources they need for student success.

Los Lunas Schools was awarded two grants, one for $23,600 to fund a STEM lending library, and another for $32,020 to support STEM education with makerspace equipment and virtual reality headsets.

School of Dreams Academy received $15,000 for its Junior Botball program, and The University of New Mexico-Valencia campus received $16,000 which will be used to support summer youth STEM camps, teaching skills such as coding, game design, robotics, digital media, and career exploration.

Los Lunas Mayor Charles Griego was glad to see how many local organizations are benefiting from the Facebook grants.

Charles Griego
Los Lunas Mayor

“I’m excited to see the benefits our community continues to reap from the economic investment that Facebook has brought to Los Lunas,” Griego said. “Having a partner give back to the needs of our area by granting funds to nonprofits, school districts and other organizations helps magnify the importance Facebook sets in its mission of building community.”

• All For Animals, Inc. received a $10,644 technology grant to support county-wide animal welfare and control through specialized software and rugged laptops for outdoor use by animal control officers in Bosque Farms, Isleta and Peralta.

Lee Matthews, of All For Animals, said with the purchase of rugged laptops and software, all tasks can be directly entered into the laptop in the field, eliminating handwritten notes.

“Animal control officers will have more time to care for impacted animals through reduced overtime, reduced call outs,and elimination of duplication of effort,” Matthews said. “We are elated that Facebook cares about Valencia County ACOs and the homeless animals … Thank you, Facebook.”

• The Civil Air Patrol was awarded a $7,500 technology grant to support the organization’s search and rescue efforts, disaster relief support, and STEM and aerospace education.

• Community Wellness Council received $1,990. This technology grant will support community wellness classes that will promote behavioral health, healthy eating, and the prevention of substance abuse and domestic violence.

“The Community Wellness Council will use this funding to update our technology to provide a better community outreach experience with a new computer, sound system, and projector,” said Noelle Chavez, of the Community Wellness Council.

“We look forward to engaging residents around violence prevention, behavioral health, substance use, and healthy eating and active living. Thank you, Facebook, for your support!”

• Crossroads for Women got $7,000. This grant will provide laptops and software to support teaching computer and workplace technology skills to women in need.

“More than 20 years ago, Crossroads for Women was founded on the fundamental belief that everyone deserves second chances,” said Heather Hawkins, director of operations at Crossroads for Women. “We are excited that Facebook is supporting the mission of Crossroads in creating second chances for women in Los Lunas. With their support, women will have access to the educational tools they need to thrive.”

• La Promesa Elementary School received an $8,000 grant to support a smart technology display and presentation equipment.

• New Mexico HOSA got a $9,000 grant to support health science education at the high school level, including professional development and training for science teachers.

• Rio Communities Optimist Club received a $9,570 technology and teacher grant that will support a multi-day STEM camp using LEGO WeDo and LEGO Mindstorm robotics kits.

• Sundance Elementary got a $13,800 grant to support science exploration kits at Sundance Elementary School.

• TNT Boxing and Mentoring Club received a $12,180 grant that will provide computers and internet access to Valencia County youth mentorship programs.

• Valencia County Amateur Radio Association got a $9,800 technology grant that will assist the local organization in providing support to emergency response agencies, participating in county events, and providing communications support for public events.

• Valencia County Partnership for a Work Ready Community received a $5,296 grant that will support career, technical, job skill, workforce development, and education programs in Valencia County.

• The Wright Choice Learning Center got a $5,000 grant to support pre-K STEM education in Valencia County with computers, monitors, and tablets.

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Anna Padilla, News-Bulletin Staff Writer