We had a pretty big event here in Truchas the other day. Our preschool received a $7100 grant from the USDA’s Office of Rural Development to make improvements to the grounds.
We all gathered for the groundbreaking. USDA’s Rural Development State Director, Terry Brunner, came up for the event, as did representatives from the offices of Senator Udall, Senator Bingaman, and Congressman Luhan. David Trujillo, Jr., the Assistant County Manager and Patricio Garcia, representing Rio Arriba County and Zoning were also on hand.
I drive by the preschool all the time, but I have to admit I’ve never really seen it. Walking in today, I was surprised and truly moved by the energy of the place. There’s no other way to put it. There were happy kids, playing in a bright room, filled with all kinds of toys. It warmed my heart to realize that my small village of Truchas offers this opportunity to families from Chimayo, Cordova, Ojo Sarco and Penasco—for $2 per day!
The preschool is founded on the principle of “child learning through child play.” From their manual: “Preschool children learn best through opportunities to explore, to reason, to problem-solve, and to question, through a variety of hands-on experiences and interactions between the children themselves and in child to adult situations.” I saw that in evidence today.
I asked Mr. Brunner why the USDA would give a grant to a preschool program, and his answer surprised me, but just because I’d never thought of it before. The Office of Rural Development sees child care programs as integral to rural development. If parents have safe, affordable, reliable childcare, they can leave their children in good hands and go to work—whether that means to an office in town or to their own fields to farm. Of course!
So it was a festive day, here in Truchas,NM, with special visitors we don’t often see. And then there was the groundbreaking itself. Who better to perform that task than the kids themselves? And let me tell you, they took their job very seriously. One of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.
Thank you USDA!
Love to you all,