Texico students showcase talent for cause

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Texico Middle School students Raven Askew, Roxy Garza, and Gabby Posada, from left to right, sing Thursday’s Katy Perry song “Firework” during the Texico High School Talent show.

Benna Sayyed

On a stage lined with canned goods, students belted out country songs such as “Big Green Tractor” and “Country Girl Shake It For Me” and danced to P. Diddy and Linkin Park hits.

The singing and dancing in the 2012 Texico schools talent show was part of an effort to raise money and awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco and ending childhood hunger.

Hosted by members of the nationwide youth movement Evolvement and the No Kid Hungry Campaign, the show raised more than $700 in monetary and canned food donations, according to Evolvement student representatives. At least $756 in monetary donations was raised last year.

This year’s donations will go toward ending childhood hunger in the U.S. by 2015.

The show had an attendance of 600 to 650, according to Texico Municipal Schools Superintendent R.L. Richards.

“We’re just trying to raise awareness about smoking,” said Pal Herndon, Texico High School senior and Evolvement member.

“We’re not condemning smokers. We’re just getting the word out there.”

Herndon said the Texico High talent show strives to incorporate the Evolvement Campaign in the show by passing out pledge and information cards to attendees.

“I think it will help immensely in getting the word out. It did a lot last year,” Herndon said.

The talent show unfolded in a series of skits, musical performances and dances by Texico students K-12 and educators.

Evolvement representatives provided fast facts about health issues associated with tobacco use and second-hand smoke in between acts.

Evolvement representatives passed out surveys and pledges in an effort to promote smoke-free cars and homes in Texico. They simultaneously advocated the No Kid Hungry campaign to create an awareness of the nation’s hungry population.

Myrna Reynoso, 17, a Texico High School senior and president of Texico Family Career and Community Leaders of America, said the Texico High Evolvement Campaign chapter tried to complete 500 surveys during the show.

“Personally I get to know that I’ve helped people out,” Reynoso said.

“Every year we have something good going on and it really helps when people come out and make donations and help out.”

Vanessa Gutierrez, 26, state coordinator for Evolvement Campaign in Albuquerque works, in 10 schools around the state. She said big cities such as Albuquerque focus provide more information to students about issues such as health care and smoking than do small towns such as Texico.

“The kids in rural areas like Texico are very proactive,” Gutierrez said.

“We want to emphasize all communities and the kids here are really willing to listen.”