DOÑA ANA COUNTY, AVANCE JOIN FORCES TO BENEFIT AREA CHILDREN

DOÑA ANA COUNTY, AVANCE JOIN FORCES TO BENEFIT AREA CHILDREN

Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Director Silvia Sierra has announced the formal launch of AVANCE’s nationally recognized Parent-Child Education Program in Doña Ana County. An event will be staged at the Doña Ana County Government Center at 1 p.m. on June 4, 2009, to announce the partnership particulars.

For 36 years, Sierra said, AVANCE has provided parenting education, early childhood education, and comprehensive family support services to low-income families with children up to three years of age in economically disadvantaged communities across Texas.

“This historic partnership will provide our residents with key social fundamentals of parenting, early childhood development and adult literacy addressing the social needs of our families and children,” Sierra said. “AVANCE will help many of Doña Ana County’s families attain literacy and education that leads to better health, economic opportunity and quality of life.”

AVANCE’S Parent-Child Education Program has received national recognition, most recently spotlighted in “Changing the Odds of Children at Risk,” by University of Michigan professor of education studies and former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Susan B. Neuman.

Neuman hailed the program as one of a handful of national models that effectively break the cycle of family poverty through education. In addition, AVANCE has repeatedly been acknowledged among the top 10 Hispanic nonprofit organizations in the U.S. by Hispanic Business Magazine.

AVANCE president and CEO Sylvia G. Garcia said the move into Doña Ana County is a natural extension of the program’s successes in Texas and California.

“This move,” Garcia said, “remains true to the organization’s original mission and core philosophy of preparing young children for school success by educating and involving their parents. We are very fortunate to have partners and friends who recognize our effective model and join us in our commitment to serve our most vulnerable children and families. We are honored to launch the AVANCE Parent-Child Education Program in Doña Ana County.”

AVANCE began preliminary work in New Mexico in 2007 through the efforts of AVANCE’s El Paso Chapter and with start-up funding acquired through New Mexico’s Children Youth and Families Department and Doña Ana County. Additionally the W.K. Kellogg and Kresge foundations, Daniels Fund, AmeriCorps VISTA and Paso del Norte Health Foundation are supporting the expansion of AVANCE’s Parent-Child Education Program.

“This is all possible,” Garcia said, “thanks to our partners in implementation on a daily basis Doña Ana County, Doña Ana Community College Adult Education and Gadsden Independent School District.”
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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.

Editors: Please note that “Avance” is the Spanish word for “advance.” The organization prefers that its name appear in all caps in all references.