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By Cristina Rubio
Los Alamos Family Strengths Network faces funding perils.
When we moved from San Diego to Los Alamos eight months ago, I was happy that I’d be raising my daughters in a town of such cultural diversity — a home to scientists from all over the world that’s encircled by Native American land.
We are close to family here, and this is a beautiful place for raising our own family, with a safe environment, good school system and lots of free activities designed for families. There are many trails to hike, museums to visit, and parks, playgrounds and nature center activities to enjoy.
But I was sad to leave our “village” and face the challenge of building a new circle of friends for both parents and kids alike.
Right away, though, I found a huge resource in the Los Alamos Family Strengths Network. This private, nonprofit organization that provides support and resources to families has been serving Los Alamos and northern New Mexico since 1989. It offers family programs, classes, workshops, special-needs support, chit-chat discussion groups and more.
When we first moved here, we didn’t have any toys in the house as we awaited the moving truck’s arrival. We made use of Family Strengths Network’s toy library, where you can check out educational games and toys for two weeks.
FSN has continued to help keep our family connected and entertained. It offers crafts for toddlers once a month, and my girls really enjoy them. Pajamas-and-movies events on Fridays have been a favorite, too.
They offer Toddler Tunes, where the littles can shake their wiggles, and Play and Learn, which encourages them to discover the world through play. They organize chit-chats where adults can talk about baby gear, birth, weaning, sleep milestones and other topics, which is especially great for new moms. Their parenting workshops are a great resource, too, and they provide childcare during the workshop.
They also have a great play area with so many fun toys and a big couch where parents can sit and relax (and use the wifi!) while the kids play.
During the pandemic, FSN is offering programs for kids and adults via Zoom. (Find all events
on their Facebook page.
But Family Strengths Network’s funding is in jeopardy. Los Alamos County is considering awarding funding to other nonprofits in town. Without the county funding, they may not be able to stay open.
That would be a big loss for the families living in Los Alamos right now and for those who might move here in the future. The Los Alamos National Laboratory hires from all over the country, and the Family Strengths Network is a great resource for new families in town. We do not want the county to forget how important FSN is to the community.
The next county council meeting is Tuesday June 30 at 6 p.m. The FSN would love for you to submit public comments if you feel an urge to do so. Members of the public wishing to attend may participate and provide public comment via Zoom, by linking to the following URL address, or by calling either of the conference call lines listed below:
Join Zoom Webinar: https://zoom.us/j/93083396162 https://zoom.us/j/93083396162
Webinar ID: 930 8339 6162
If you would like to donate to the FSN, you can donate through their Facebook Fundraiser or through the FSN website.