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Posted May 20, 2014

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NBC & Chelsea Clinton Eager to Share APS Stories With the Nation

Clinton and her news crew focused on a staff-run food pantry at Comanche ES and Homework Diner at La Mesa ES.

For the second time in five months, NBC correspondent Chelsea Clinton made a visit here to shine a national spotlight on the people who proudly represent Albuquerque Public Schools and their efforts to provide the best possible experiences for students and their families.

Clinton and her news crew visited Comanche and La Mesa elementary schools last week. The Comanche visit was promoted by an article published in APS News some months back in which a teacher and counselor at Comanche were publicly applauded for creating a food pantry at the school.

About 62.2 percent of the Comanche student population qualifies for the federal Free and/or Reduced Lunch Program. First grade teacher, Marvin Callahan and school counselor Karin Medina talked with Clinton about their heartfelt reasons for starting up the food pantry, what it takes to keep the operation going and why it’s so important. Clinton also interviewed students and parents about what this voluntary act of kindness has meant to them week after week and why the end of every school year comes with some trepidation.

At La Mesa the focus was the start-up of the district’s newest Homework Diner program. It was the Homework Diner that initially lured Clinton to APS.

Once a week during the school year, families of students at schools with the Homework Diner club are invited to a home-style meal at no cost. After dinner English- and Spanish-speaking tutors are available to help parents and guardians tackle homework with their students. It’s an effective way to bring educators and families together, to create a sense of community and provide support that might not be available otherwise.

NBC Nightly News ran its first Homework Diner story back in January and was flooded with calls from all over the country asking for more information about the program and if it could be duplicated.

Community organizations that  provide financial support for  the APS Homework Diner include the ABC Community School Partnership, CNM, the City of Albuquerque and the Roadrunner Food Bank. New Mexico PBS provides iPads for the Homework Diner, student volunteer chefs rom Sandia and Atrisco Heritage High Schools give their time as well as volunteers from Kirtland Air Force Base.

Broadcast dates for the NBC news stories shot in Albuquerque Public Schools last week have yet to be decided, but stay tuned for details. We’ll keep you informed  via APS.edu so you don’t miss the coverage everyone in America will have an opportunity to watch.

Special thanks to NBC News and the many APS staff, students, families and community partners who helped tell the APS story.

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