Doña Ana County




            Doña Ana County employees, elected officials, professionals from several organizations and volunteers will be visiting third-grade classrooms on Thursday, March 1, as part of Read Across America Day, a national initiative to encourage children to read and to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

            This year is the 20th Anniversary of Read Across America Day (RAAD). During the 2018 RAAD program, more than 2,900 third-grade students in Las Cruces Public Schools, Gadsden Independent School District, Mesilla Valley Christian Schools, Mission Lutheran and Holy Cross Catholic School will participate in the daylong literacy outreach program.

            Coordinated by the Doña Ana County Community and Constituent Services Office, other participating staff will represent the Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Department, Fire and Emergency Services, Public Information and Special Projects Office, Community Development Department and the Assessor’s Office, among others. 

            External partners in the program include the City of Las Cruces Police and Fire Departments, Las Cruces City Council, New Mexico Department of Public Safety, City of Las Cruces Volunteer Network Center, La Semilla Food Center, Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Friends of the Organ Mountains, Burrell Medical College, City of Sunland Park, Take it Outside NM, White Sands Missile Range, U.S. Border Patrol and the U.S. Forest Service.

Doña Ana County Animal Control and Codes Enforcement Department is supplying “Cleanup with Carlos” books to the March 1 literacy effort. Children who attend will receive their very own copy of the book, which is offered in English and Spanish.

Through the Doña Ana County Illegal Dumping Partnership, the new “Cleanup with Carlos” book discusses the dangers that littering and illegal dumping pose in Doña Ana County and the penalties associated with illegal dumping. Additionally, the storyline incorporates the importance of recycling and teaches children the three R’s –– reduce, reuse and recycle.

This is the third consecutive year that the countywide Read Across America Day program is being held. Because of the collaborative partnerships involved in this program, 4,565 children have been reached during the first two years and the readings are offered in both English and Spanish.

            Due to the generosity of The Stocker Foundation, the 2018 and 2019 programs will be enhanced. The foundation awarded the Community and Constituent Services Office a two-year grant of $10,000 for the purchase pencils and erasers for children, along with books for the libraries of the elementary schools that are involved in RAAD. The foundation grant will also cover the cost to hold an appreciation day for the readers who are involved in the effort.

Read Across America Day (RAAD) was created by the National Education Association as an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading through events, partnerships and reading resources.

For more information about RAAD go to To learn more about local efforts to curb illegal dumping in Doña Ana County and “Clean Up with Carlos,” visit

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.