Michael Tortalita, Tribal Official
Contributed by Megan Aguilar of the Pueblo of San Felipe
After a year of construction, the newly renovated Pueblo of San Felipe Community Library showcased its new and exciting services to the public. An open house was held on Thursday, June 18th to highlight a few of these services, some of which include: new rooms for GED preparation courses, a new lap-top check out service, and a designated area for kids to read, hang-out and maybe even play on the Xbox.
One of the most anticipated features of the newly revamped library is its GED preparation program that will be initiated at the beginning of September. According to a report by the National Indian Education Association, in 2009 the dropout rate for Native American students was 15 percent, double the dropout rate of white students. The new addition to the library will give students the opportunity to receive accreditation and potentially continue on to higher education.
A lot of the new resources provided by the library continue to enrich the lives of the community. Alexandra, a community member, utilizes the library’s free Wi-Fi to access job applications and to update resumes. “I don’t have internet access at home, except for the hotspot on my phone,” says Alexandra, which makes the library an important resource for her in acquiring significant information.
Felicia Garcia, library aide, says that the new additions to the library have brought in more kids. “Some even stay here all day,” Garcia says. With the summer heat baring down in New Mexico, kids of all ages come in to watch movies and play educational games on the AWE computer learning stations set up throughout the library. “ I don’t even know how we did it in this little area before,” says Garcia.
During the open house guests were able to explore the new facilities while also learning about the new facets of the library. Board games, movies, a book give-away and a face painting station also made it fun for kids to experience all the exciting activities the library now offers. “I think the kids liked the face painting and photo taking stations the most,” says Garcia. While the kids got to dress up and partake in photoshoot sessions, parents were able to nosh on delicious hotdogs and sweet snow cones throughout the day.
All in all, the new expansion of the library has opened many doors for the community of San Felipe. The library will continue to host arts and crafts, financial aid workshops, college presentations, and basic computer courses to help propel the growth of its community. Events like movie night, Explora Museum outreach, and youth film making programs, help the library showcase the solidarity and creativity of its community.
For more information on the Pueblo of San Felipe Community Library please contact, Shannon Townsend at (505) 771-9970.