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ASNMSU expands importance of higher education in elementary schools

Spread across an alphabet carpet of a brightly decorated classroom, observant and curious little children patiently wait for Wesley Jackson, president of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University, to read the part about the dinosaur being, ?gone, gone, gone.?


Man reading to children
ASNMSU President Wesley Jackson reads to Sonoma Heights Elementary children, promoting a positive image of NMSU in the community. (Photo provided by Wesley Jackson)

Through a new reading campaign, Jackson plans to visit each elementary school in the Las Cruces Public School District, in an effort to teach children the importance of reading and education.

?It?s important that every child in New Mexico has the opportunity to attend a higher education institution to better their own lives and the lives of their family,? Jackson said, ?but this can only be done if each student is putting forth the effort to read and stay on top of their studies.?

Jackson and ASNMSU student members have visited Sonoma Heights and Cesar Chavez Elementary Schools, with the intention of visiting all 24 schools during the spring semester.

?Both the students and teachers are ecstatic to have us in their classrooms. The teachers and students love having interaction with students from NMSU, especially when these students are trying to drive home an important issue: education,? Jackson said.

ASNMSU members wear Aggie attire to promote the university?s positive image in a way that introduces the youth to higher education. Part of the goal in reading to elementary-aged children is to build a bridge between the youth in the community and NMSU in hopes that one day they will become an Aggie.

?This sends a great message to the children who we read to,? Jackson said. ?Each NMSU student who visits an elementary school is expressing how important it is to read, study and stay in school. Students in kindergarten through third grade are learning to read and after third grade, these students are reading to learn. ASNMSU believes that it is important that they do their part in helping each child learn to read, so that one day they can be at a higher educational institution, reading to learn.?

Jackson expects that as the reading campaign continues, it will gain traction throughout the community and more will want to be involved.