Press Release

New Mexico Public Education Department

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501-2786
Dr. Veronica C. García
Secretary of Education

Beverly Friedman
Public Information Officer


For Immediate Release: December 6, 2007

Gadsden Elementary Project Provides All Third Graders in New Mexico With Rudolfo Anaya’s Santero’s Miracle

(Santa Fe, NM)— All third graders in the state will receive a copy of New Mexican author Rudolfo Anaya’s new children’s book Santero’s Miracle courtesy of the “Love 4 Reading” program. “Love 4 Reading” was created by a team of fourth and fifth graders from La Union Elementary School in Gadsden Independent School District to encourage young students to read.

Today, New Mexico Education Secretary Veronica C. García, Senator Cynthia Nava, and Albuquerque Superintendent Beth Everitt distributed the first copies to third graders at Mission Avenue Elementary in Albuquerque.

“I am so proud of the Gadsden students who made this gift to New Mexico’s third graders possible,” said Secretary García. “Their effort and dedication to the joy of reading is a lesson to us all. For many children this will be the first book that they will own. Reading and sharing this book about New Mexican traditions, culture, and imagination, especially during this holiday season, is true gift.”

Shipments of the books have been made to all 89 school districts in the state, and distributions will be done over the next few weeks.

The project began during the 2005-2006 school year when students participated in the Future Problem Solving Competition. Their idea was to have their peers enjoy reading at an early age. They thought that if every third grader received a book written by a New Mexico author, it would motivate them to read. The students developed a process to provide a short list of books with Governor Richardson making the final selection.

Secretary of Education Veronica Garcia, Senator Cynthia Nava, and Carmen Gonzales and Susan Bussmann, from New Mexico State University coordinated the effort to get the books funded and distributed. New Mexico State University is creating a website at that will include the history and process of the project, statewide committee members, classroom suggestions for teachers, and activities for parents and children.

The books are provided by contributions from corporate sponsors. Sponsors for the project include:

  • Chevron
  • El Paso Electric
  • Molycorp
  • New Mexico Tech
  • McCune Charitable Foundation
  • BP America
  • Albuquerque Educational Assistants Association
  • PNM
  • New Mexico Oil and Gas Association
  • New Mexico Community Foundation
  • Xcel Energy
  • New Mexico State University
  • Phelps Dodge
  • James Hamilton Construction
  • Northern New Mexico Network
  • Ethel Jane Westfeldt Bunting Foundation
  • Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico
  • University of New Mexico Press