Making a Difference in the Classroom
In the first year of operation, Foundation board members oversaw the distribution of more than $55,000 in donations to 114 Hobbs Municipal School teachers. The money paid for software, books, iPads, art supplies, cookware, theater supplies and other items requested in mini-grant proposals. "The primary criteria is that the money had to be used to purchase materials that would be a direct benefit to students," said Foundation President Gary Beal. Once they were awarded funds, teachers were required to submit monthly project reports. The mini-grant program will continue in the coming school year with any HMS employee or group of employees eligible to apply for up to $1,000.
Making a Difference in Santa Fe
Recognizing that HMS is perennially among the lowest-funded New Mexico districts, Foundation members met with local and state legislators on several occasions about the inequity. Through their efforts and other statewide reform movements, the Legislature is expected in its next session to revamp funding, an action that could dramatically improve the HMS financial outlook.
Setting a Standard
Future Foundation plans call for the creation of a Hall of Fame to recognize former HMS staff or students who made significant contributions during their time in Hobbs schools, all while demonstrating the principled character and attributes of an Eagle. Inductees will be recognized at an annual banquet. In addition, their pictures and contributions will be on display at a permanent location.