Serving in Antonito

by Ally Stone

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To outsiders, Antonito is a small drive-thru town on highway 285, six miles north of the New Mexico border. But spend more than one day in this tight-knit community and you’ll see that traditions run deep, family roots are strong, and residents thrive despite the economic challenges. This is AAI’s first year serving in Antonito with the non-profit Conejos Clean Water (CCW). As a service member with CCW, my primary focus is on garden education at the South Conejos Public School and social, economic, food, and environmental justice education at the Antonito

Homeschool Consortium. So far this fall I have assisted with getting students in the Valleybound school garden for tasting fruits and veggies as well as the harvest. After the harvest, I have continued the garden education in the classroom with hands-on, stem based lessons. Once a month at the Antonito Homeschool Consortium I lead a lesson on justice issues that is tied to an outdoor excursion my supervisor, Abe Rosenberg, and I guide. I also assist with small group project-based learning during Social Studies and English Language Arts. As a second year service member with AAI, this position is very different than my term at Crestone Charter, but I have been so excited to grow my “teacher voice” through lesson planning and execution, as well as having the opportunity to wear many different hats in my position.