One of my greatest joys as an author is to meet with young readers. I get to pretend for an hour or a day than I am still teaching and that these students are mine.
Add to that joy the opportunity to travel to corners of New Mexico I’ve never seen before, and I’m a happy author indeed.
Last week I went to Mosquero, NM, a village ninety-three people strong, and one of the two communities in Harding County, NM (the other village, Roy, has a population of 234). The visit came about as a result of my postcard mailings last fall.
I met with the entire elementary school (pictured above). What a fabulous group of kids! For you to get a sense of all the wonderful things happening in this community, I’m adding here something I shared on Facebook last week:
I want to take a moment and brag on Mosquero Municipal Schools of Mosquero, NM. This tiny town (population 93) has one of the two school systems in Harding County, NM. I spent yesterday with the elementary school (an engaging, hardworking, sweet group of marvelous readers) and interacted a bit with the high schoolers, too.
Here’s a glimpse of what these kids do: Seventh and eighth graders work on the Mi Familia project, which is committed to recording the history of the people of Harding County. Since 2008, the high school has been working on Main Street murals, their first experience with art class (a mentor was hired to teach the students, but all the work is their own). They write, print, and distribute a quarterly newspaper for the entire county. Not only do they shoot all the school photos, they open their studio to the public. One student who decided the school should have a yearbook has made it happen on her own.
New Mexico’s educational system often gets bad press. We’re at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to national ranking. But I want everyone to know there are important, exciting, vital things happening in this place. Kids are doing marvelous work, work worth celebrating.
Hats off to the students and teachers of Mosquero Municipal Schools. It was a privilege to spend the day with them.