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Statewide community groups rally to put kids first with “Together for New Mexico’s Children” campaign

Rebecca Noricks
(269) 969-2079, rebecca.noricks@wkkf.org

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Dozens of community organizations dedicated to health, education and economic opportunity today launched “Together for New Mexico’s Children,” a campaign that aims to unite state residents in building a bright future for the state and its young people.

Ads for the campaign debuted today on radio stations throughout New Mexico. The ads are designed to encourage New Mexicans to think about what’s needed to change the conversation and put children’s interests first.

“By always asking ourselves, ‘Is this good for our children?,’ we can change the very nature of our public discourse and chart a brighter future, both for kids and for the state,” said Adrian Pedroza, executive director of Partnership for Community Action, which promotes early childhood education, living wage jobs and healthy communities across New Mexico.

The nearly 30 diverse groups launching the initiative also include The Bridge of Southern New Mexico, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, La Semilla Food Center, Mora County Health Council, McCune Foundation, New Mexico Acequia Association, Notah Begay III Foundation, Partnership for Community Action, Santa Fe Community Foundation, Strong Families New Mexico and Young Women United. The campaign is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

“It’s critical, as a state, that we create partnerships to help students succeed,” said Tracey Bryan, president and CEO of The Bridge of Southern New Mexico, an organization working to increase graduation rates and optimize Doña Ana County’s future workforce. “Together, we can help students become well-skilled future employees and entrepreneurs, and ultimately build a strong future for themselves and their families.”

In New Mexico, almost one in three kids under 18 lives in poverty. Too many lack access to quality education and healthcare. To create a fundamental shift in the state, Together for New Mexico’s Children seeks to rise above partisan and political divides, uniting people in their shared interest in children’s well-being.

“We have the know-how and ingenuity to create strong schools, a healthy environment and good jobs that reinvigorate our state’s economy,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, executive director of the Notah Begay III Foundation, which works to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes among Native American youth. “But it depends on acting now.”

The Together for New Mexico’s Children radio spots include a nurse, a teacher and a grandparent talking about the importance of being responsible to children, families and communities. “Our freedom and the prosperity of our state depend on it,” says a nurse in one of the ads.

The campaign website also launched today at www.TogetherNewMexico.org.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has supported nonprofit efforts in New Mexico for more than 70 years. It plans to open a new regional office in Albuquerque in the fall of 2012.

“People across New Mexico share a deep and personal responsibility to contribute,” said Kara Carlisle, WKKF’s director of New Mexico programs. “It’s those collected contributions that secure a future where all children have equal access to opportunity and equal opportunity to thrive.”

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

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