Home-sewn art bags bless young readers in Palomas, Mexico

Prairie Small

Prairie Small displays some of the 100 bags of art supplies that volunteers made and filled for Palomas students.

Supporters from Gila, New Mexico recently delivered another project to support the literacy and the creativity of the children in Palomas elementary schools.  Prairie Small, an inspired volunteer, organized local sewers to fashion individual student bags to house a gift of art supplies and materials for the young students. Barrett and Sebert Brewer helped her collect and purchase supplies to fill those bags.

Ford elementary students

First graders at Ford Elementary School, with teacher Rubi Payan (left) and Border Partners volunteer Tami Edmunds, benefit from volunteer's donations.

Working with children at all three primarias (elementary schools) in town, Palomas instructor Thalia Romero immediately saw how useful the bags would be. A specialist teacher, Thalia integrates art with reading instruction, increasing literacy by integrating art activities into the reading program. Her students, for instance, actually make and illustrate story books to generate interest in reading. She joyfully put these colorful bags of art supplies, lovingly sewed by local supporters, to immediate use at all the primary schools.

Last year these same supporters from Gila brought large bins of glue, paint, and paper to donate to the school literacy/art program. As a follow-up to that project, this year’s colorful, home-sewn bags of supplies –delivered just a few weeks ago–will go to individual children. However, because there are so few school and art supplies at the Palomas school, they will first be used at school for classroom instruction.

Prairie has another idea in mind for her next Palomas project. And we’ll be happy to help make her dream a reality. The students in Palomas have so little that basic school supplies are a special blessing to them. These beautiful bags are a real cherished “extra.” We are so grateful to Prairie, Barrett, Sebert and all their helpers for the joy they brought to young Palomas readers and artists-in-training.

supplies received at Ramon Espinoza school

Barrett and Sebert Brewer helped collect supplies to fill the bags. Principal of Ramon Espinoza Villanueva Elementary School Raul Juarez and Prairie Small are pleased with the project's results.