Personal tools

Superintendent's News

Posted: October 6, 2023

Addressing the Needs of Our Students

In his weekly message, Superintendent Scott Elder invites APS employees to do what they can to help students struggling with basic necessities.

The first two weeks of October in Albuquerque are always magical, thanks to beautiful fall weather and the gorgeous hot air balloons that take over our skies for the International Balloon Fiesta. We celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, and there’s no school next Friday because of fall break!

It’s a great time of year for most of us.

For others – people struggling to put food on the table and those who don’t have a place to call home – this time of year signals a return to cold temperatures and more hardship as they grapple with things like how they’re going to stay warm and where their next meal is going to come from.

I mention this reality not to depress you but to make you aware of opportunities to lend a helping hand to those in need.

At Albuquerque Public Schools, our primary responsibility is to educate students, but that’s not all we do. We work hard to help students in need tap into services that can provide them with some stability. We also do our best to help them with food and clothing. But we can’t do it alone.

Our staff in the McKinney-Vento Program – the individuals who work with students experiencing homelessness and those who are housing insecure – are sounding the alarm because the shelves in their food pantry are running low. They say it’s unusual for their supply to be so low at this point in the year.

They’re asking for donations of non-perishable food items, everything from cheese or peanut butter crackers, beef jerky, and granola bars to applesauce, ramen noodles, and pop tarts. The complete list of food they’re requesting is available at Donations can be dropped off at 1730 University Boulevard SE.

There are several other ways to help.

The APS Clothing Bank is doing its fifth annual Socktober Drive. The Clothing Bank notes that socks are one of the most needed basic clothing items.

“As the weather gets colder, socks make all the difference in keeping students’ feet dry and warm, allowing shoes to fit more comfortably so students can focus on learning,” the group says.

You can help in one of two ways. The first is to make a monetary donation through the APS Education Foundation by designating “Socktober.” You can also purchase socks to send directly to the Clothing Bank from its Amazon Wish List.

The Clothing Bank notes that the donations are tax-deductible.

Other opportunities to help include donating a new or gently used coat during the upcoming KOATS for Kids drive that KOAT-TV does every year or donating to KRQE Cares, which provides shoes, food, and books to kids in need.

Our Clothing Bank serves more than 3,500 students each year, giving you an idea of the needs among our students. Let’s each do what we can to help address that need, whether it’s donating a few pairs of socks, dropping off a bag of rice to our food pantry, or donating cash. Every donation helps.

Enjoy the balloons, and have a good weekend.