Education column: Schools have variety of assistance programs

We share a lot of what takes place in our classrooms, but you may not be aware of all the available extras offered throughout the district.

For example, there’s the 21st Century After School Program for elementary students from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. three days a week at multiple school sites, which include the Arts Academy at Bella Vista, Cameo, La Casita, Lockwood, Parkview, and James Bickley.

Students in this program are those recommended by their teachers for additional help. Students can also take advantage of enrichment classes such as art classes, storytelling, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Science Club, Cooking Club, Drama Club. Currently 46 teachers are involved with approximately 570 students, according to Mario Trujillo, program coordinator.

At Cameo Elementary, there’s Cougar Camp two Wednesdays a month for small group tutorials to any student who needs help.

Ninth-graders from the CHS Freshman Academy next door also help tutor students. The Cameo Parent Center is open all day, and parents come in to volunteer reading with students and helping in the classroom.

Principal Tony Igo also uses Eastern New Mexico University’s Talent Search to work with the fifth- and sixth-graders on organizational and study skills.

Parkview has devoted blocks of time during the day for reading and math Interventions to get struggling students to grade level; La Casita’s teachers also tutor students outside of school hours as needed. Zia’s two computer labs are open before and after school for students to work on reading and math; Wednesday afternoons, third- through sixth-grade teachers spend tutoring time with struggling students. Mesa has Early Morning Computer Lab for students needing help and partners with Whiz Kids.

Whiz Kids is a wonderful community program, facilitated through the Matt 25 Hope Center (, that also works with a number of our schools to offer weekly tutorials. Interestingly, many of the tutors are retired teachers.

At Clovis High School, free tutoring in all subject areas is offered Monday-Thursday in the library from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Marshall Middle School offers daily after-school tutoring for students, both one-on-one and in the computer labs; teachers are also available before and after school to help students.

Yucca Middle School has before and after school assistance in all classes and a math lab run by a math teacher before school. There’s CHAPS (Catch Help with Academic Progress and Success) for lunchtime tutoring and after school tutoring, both of which are mandatory for students not turning in work and voluntary for students looking for extra help.

Lincoln Jackson Family Center tutoring is available Monday through Thursday, from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. for secondary students and is facilitated by Mary Helen Urioste, Family Services Liaison.

And that’s not even all of our schools’ programs.

There’s a sign that sometimes hangs above library entrances: “Knowledge is free at the library; just bring your own container” (anonymous).

We could substitute “school” for “library” but you’d have to bring a pretty big container.

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at