Early Education is the Best thing we can give our children by Alma Martel

We are a very big community of immigrants, residents and citizens of New Mexico’s early childhood educators.

I only had the opportunity for two of my kiddos to go to pre-k. It was very difficult, two of my other kiddos didn’t have the opportunity to go because there was no space for them. This is hard because we wanted all of them to have the same education, and because of this I decided to get involved in early childhood education.

I went to CNM (Central New Mexico Community College) to receive my CDC and for now I am working on my associates to be a child educator. This has taught me a lot of getting involved in the early childhood education community.

I want to thank the Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the Early Childhood Secretary Groginsky for sending out hazard pay checks to the teachers in ECE. We did receive 3 months of hazard pay and of course we do need more funding and we do need more incentive to pay for longer, so I encourage the council to pass more funding, if it does not pass funding in the legislative session this year for early childhood it is going to be a bad situation for the teachers. We do have the support of the Secretary and the Governor.

When we are trained and we are educated we can educate the children better. Early education is the best thing we can give our children. We want these little kids to grow up to be doctors, architects, lawyers, and become good citizens. We must build this education from 0–5 years old, this is the best thing for our community to grow into good citizens. We need these funds.

I want to encourage everyone to support this incredibly, we need this as a community. Our community has a lot of issues with education. We do not need to wait 20 years, like Senator Maestas said- we will lose a lot of kids. The threats to not supporting this with proper funding is that our children will go to jail and be “bad citizens”.

Since the constitutional amendment does go to the citizens to vote on this, we are the ones who put our representatives in office and they have the responsibility to listen to the needs of the community. We put you in office to solve issues that the community has, not only about education or pandemic situations but for all situations. We have to find a better way to solve these issues and provide benefits.

I am so proud to be here and thank the Secretary and Governor for all the support she has given us. I encourage her to improve the support for the constitutional amendment in the rest of the House and the Senate.

— Alma Martel