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Board applies for grants to help at-risk youth

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The Comprehensive Strategy Board (CSB) Tuesday voted unanimously to submit an application for a grant from the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department that board members hope will fund programs to help at-risk youth in Chaves County.

Lucia Serrano, the coordinator of the Continuum Grant for Chaves County, said the board voted to submit the application asking for roughly $200,000 in funding for FY 2020.

The board includes representatives from local law enforcement, the district attorney’s office, courts and the Roswell Independent School District and from health and behavioral services, requests and administers grant funding for at-risk youth in Chaves County and finding subcontractors who can implement such programs.

Chaves County along with other counties around the state submit requests to the state for the grants.

She said last year the county received about $206,046, with money that went to programs such as Court Appointed Special Advocates, a group where volunteers provide a legal voice to make sure court decisions that affect the children are made in their best interest. Money has gone to Roswell Wings for L.I.F.E. or Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education, to provide after-school social and emotional skills programs for at-risk youth.

A little less than 600 youth were served by programs funded through the grants, Serrano said.

She said programs the CSB hopes to fund if they receive the grant money for the coming fiscal year that starts in July 2019, include after-school programs that cater to at-risk middle and elementary school students along with alternative education programs for children who have been suspended from school.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.