[Albuquerque, NM] - Students and military families who attend three Albuquerque elementary schools will receive support services thanks to a $5,000 grant from Qwest Veterans to the Albuquerque Public Schools Education Foundation.

The grant will provide funservices to the families of deployed or returning military personnel whose children attend Sandia Base, Wherry and Kirtland elementary schools. The support will go toward removing barriers to learning that can be created by long absences of parents or parents.

“Qwest New Mexico and the Qwest Foundation has the utmost respect for the men and women who place themselves in harm’s way, and for the families that sacrifice the presence of a parent, in order to defend the freedom we enjoy today,” said Loretta A. Armenta, Qwest’s president for New Mexico. “Qwest is proud to make sure students of deployed parents receive the extra support and services they need to succeed in their academic endeavors.”

The APS Health and Wellness Department will contract with the Southwest Family Guidance Center to design and deliver the services, and students and the services they receive will be monitored. Parents will be surveyed after services are delivered.

“We are grateful to Qwest and Qwest Veterans for their willingness to help students at Albuquerque Public Schools,” said APS Superintendent Winston Brooks. “Our servicemen and women make great sacrifices to ensure our safety here at home, and it’s gratifying to know that Qwest, through Qwest Vets, is stepping up to join us in making sure our kids can be at their best while their parents are away.

“The company’s commitment is no surprise to APS,” Brooks continued. “It’s been a longtime partner in education here.”

Qwest has eight company-sponsored resource groups comprised of employees with a common interest in promoting the Qwest diversity philosophy. Qwest Veterans partners with Qwest to help Qwest Veterans, their families and friends, in maximizing self realization. It supports and participates in Qwest policies and programs in which veterans are respected, valued and afforded equal opportunities.

The Qwest Foundation's core principle is that investing in people and communities provides lasting value for the future. The Qwest Foundation awards grants to community-based programs that generate high-impact and measurable results, focusing on pre-K through grade 12 education.

The APS Education Foundation is a nonprofit that works to support the district’s education initiatives in 139 schools and concentrates its fundraising efforts on literacy, fine arts, middle school/high school activities and classroom teacher mini-grant programs.

-30-