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Announcement

CALLING ALL ARTISTS

 

The Conejos County Community Coalition

is having a contest for all local artists

to see who can come up with an amazing logo

for our organization

Deadline for the final entry is May 1st 2013

Contest is open to all citizens of Conejos County of any age. Submissions can be drawings, colorings, paintings, or digital work.

The Conejos County Community Coalition was founded to bring together those who wish to serve the community; to further ensure current and future growth, health, and prosperity of all county residents. We hold a shared vision that to prevent what is socially unwanted and harmful in our community we must bring about what is socially, morally, and spiritually desired and necessary.

Our mission is to enrich the lives of the county’s diverse citizens by working toward a whole village approach to improve community health, safety, and well being. We offer three specific programs to the community:our Growth Academy, our Healthy Community Initiative, and our Economic Partnership Program. Our current focus is in the Healthy Community Initiative, as we are in the process of establishing a community recreation center in the county.

We are hoping that our logo will portray a diverse community that works, plays, and grows together. Visit our website if you would like more information about what we do at www.conejoscoalition.wordpress.com.

Contact Tori at torivigil@yahoo.com

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Announcements

 

Coalition holds meeting about a county recreation center

By Tori Vigil

LA JARA – The Conejos County Community Coalition (CCCC) held a community meeting about the possibility of building a county recreation center.

The group has been discussing the possibility for the past six months. In analyzing county data and speaking with public serving agencies for Conejos county the unanimous conclusion was that a recreation center could solve many health issues now present in the county.

The community discussion lasted two hours and many good ideas were generated.

The CCCC recently decided to put together a committee that will focus solely on the potential project of building a community center for the county, since the scope of this project is so large it requires a more detailed focus. However, those on the committee are stretched for time as it is, with many of them already sitting on several boards and committees for other organizations. One of the purposes of the community meeting was to see if there are several people from the county who would be willing to volunteer their time and talents to help with the project.

On the agenda for this meeting was the first steps to be taken, forming a recreational district, getting the issue on the 2013 ballet, the community education on the process, and funding avenues.

During the meeting it was mentioned that the coalition should first focus on using a recreational district to help already existing community centers, establish community centers in the small towns that don’t currently have one such as Romeo and La Jara, prior to actually building a county-wide recreation center. There was a big push to use already existing buildings, as funds will soon become available through government grants to revitalize old buildings in rural communities.

Building a strong and healthy community is a long process, but it is possible if taken one step at a time. Community centers are at the heart of many towns and rural counties, much like Conejos County. Not only are community centers a gathering place for people of all ages, but they also provides services to poor or under-served populations.

According to data collected by the coalition for the county from the Colorado Rural Health Center shows the county has problems with diabetes  asthma, arthritis, alcoholism and heart disease. 23 percent of county residents some, 18% are obese, and 20% are not physically active. The data shows that 22% of Conejos county residents say they experience poor health and many think that staying healthy is a matter of luck. Of those in poor health many said they would exercise if they had some place to do so that was nearby.

Some possible suggestions made about how a recreation center could address the above mentioned problems is by: providing a nearby location for exercise classes, healthy cooking classes, gym equipment, an indoor environment for physical activities, and a location for a community garden.

The coalition plans to take the suggestions made during the community meeting and put several into action. For example it was suggested that the coalition try to get two very specific grants, which are now available. One grant will allow the coalition to conduct a feasibility study in regards to the community center. The other grant will allow for Americorps volunteers to assist the coalition in their efforts. Other suggestions made will be taken under consideration for possible future action.

The CCCC will announce their next meeting shortly, it is expected to take place near the end of February.

 
 

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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Facebook

 

August 2012 board minutes

Conejos County Community Coalition

Board minutes

August 7, 2012

Antonito Mental Health Center

 

Present:  Emily, Michael Moore, Steve Fringer,  JerriStucky,  Emily Lutringer, Teresa Howell, Tressesa Martinez, Tori Vigil, Kari Harp

 

The meeting was called to order at 9:10 a.m. by Tori Vigil.

 

Approval of Minutes:

 

Parade Report

A float was created that included three banners for the Conejos County Community Coalition.  Candy and the banners were donated by the Conejos Canyon Community Church.  Tori, Steve and Kari participated and helped throw candy.

 

Mission Statement:

Kari reviewed how long the group has been meeting and that the mission statement has been developed to help hone our purpose and direction.  It currently reads:  The mission of the CCCC is to enrich the lives of its citizens by working toward a whole village approach to improve community, health, safety and well being.

 

Tressesa suggested that due to our diversity we add “diverse” into the statement….”to enrich the lives of its diverse citizenship”

 

Logo Contest:

Tori began a discussion about how we will structure the logo contest.    Tressesa shared that Conejos County did the same thing and their logo was designed by a Conejos County High School student.   Tori will put an ad in the paper and flyers for the schools, post office, etc.   Tressesa suggested putting a story out about ourselves, who we are, what we are trying to do, our mission statement, etc. along with the announcement.  We will ratify the mission statement at the September meeting, post the announcement from September 15 – October 31.   The Coalition will review the logos at the November meeting and hopefully choose the winner then.    Prize would be $100 and recognition in the paper.  Second and third prizes would receive certificates.    We will all ask for donations for the prize, whether cash or donations.  We will see how much we can get by the next meeting. 

 

Tori will put together the guidelines and Kari will send it out to everyone.

 

San Luis Valley EcoSystem Council: 

Guest speaker was not able to make it at the last minute.

Recreation Needs in Conejos County:

Tressesa Martinez gave a twenty year history of the effort to create a recreation center in Conejos County.  Finding grants for the building will not be the challenge.  Finding the money to pay for it is the issue.  Costilla County created a Recreation District funds the recreation center.  Conejos County put out a ballot issue.  Antonito was very much in favor,  northern Conejos County was not as in favor.  The ballot issue did not pass.   Conejos County is NOT one of the poorest counties in Colorado.  The TAX BASE is one of the lowest in Colorado.    Costilla County’s tax base is three times as high as ours.  We have only a 42% tax base,  58% is owned by the Federal Government.  

 

She suggested that the first thing we need to do is educate our citizens because they will need to be the ones to step up the plate to pay for a mill levy.   We have to form a district first.  DOLA is very willing to help us create a district.  There also “enhancement monies” available through the highways.  GOCO grants are available as well. 

 

Teresa suggested making it more of a community center and offer office space for groups like the Boys and Girls Club, the Chamber of Commerce, etc. 

 

Location will also be a big issue.  Everybody wants it in their community. 

 

Next steps:  start with a community education campaign. 

 

NEXT STEPS:

  1. 1.       We will ask Lawrence Gallegos to bring the ballot survey responses to the next meeting.Please contact people who have been coming and get them to the next meeting. 
  2. 2.       Create the key components of a marketing campaign:
  • Crafting particular messaging to each community
  • What components do we want in a community center?  Basketball? Tennis? Gym? Pool? Offices? Commercial kitchen?
  • Quotations  – Steve’s youth might be able to solicit feedback from the youth contingency
  1. 3.       Potential Timeline:  Plan a campaign between now and January.  Begin the campaign in January 2013.

Website / Social Marketing Update

Tori showed us the CCCC homepage at www.conejoscoalition.worpress.com

 

NEXT STEPS:

  1. 1.       Confirm our three areas of focus:  Growth Academy, Economic Partnerships Program,  Healthy Community Initiative
  2. 2.       Tori will take pictures of the board members and the group
  3. 3.       She needs bios of the board members
  4. 4.       If we want to take out the “wordpress” there will be a minimum cost (max of $30/year)

Tori will be setting up a Facebook page. 

Discuss Programming

The Coalition will move forward with a focus on the Colorado Health Foundation grant and a community center campaign.

Teresa suggested we start charging a small membership fee.    “Concepts” came up again as a potential umbrella partner. 

Grant Report

 

Colorado Health Foundation grant requires us to adopt a non-discrimination statement.  We will also need to create a budget and a budget narrative.  Conejos Public Health is going to be our fiscal agent for grants.   Tressesa will visit with Connie Edgar about it because it will be under the county.  Grant award is up to $50,000.  It’s targeted to create healthy communities.  Marketing campaign,  education campaign,  preventing teen pregnancy, promote and grow self-esteem and emotional intelligence, community potlucks and education.

Please send budget ideas and grant ideas to Tori.  The grant is due October 15.  

Agenda Topics for September 4 meeting

  1. Mission Statement
  2. Recreation Center – Tressesa will contact Lawrence Gallegos and invite him
  3. Logo Contest
  4. Grant

Round Robin

Teresa Howell:  is looking for a location to host the community potluck.  They will provide the food, “Forks to Knives” will be shown.  They need to identify a location and a date. 

Steve Fringer:  The Conejos County Mentoring Program is up and going and will be getting back into the schools.  Currently they have five students and they run after school programs in the three school districts.  They are looking for referrals.  Criteria: TANF eligible, referred by the school, and “at-risk”.    Steve would like to start a youth voice at this coalition.   Steve would like to present at the group.

Michael Moore:  Would like to reinstate the community service requirements for graduation.

Tressesa Martinez:  She will keep us informed about what is happening at the County.  Conejos DSS has purchased school backpacks again this year.

Emily Lutringer:  Runs the Antonito Food Bank, open Fridays 3 – 6 in the basement of the St. Augustine Church.  Will be unable to come to meetings in the future due to a scheduling conflict.Wants to start a school garden.  Also wants to start a community garden.  

Jerri Stucky:  Represents the Conejos Canyon Community Church.  Likes to write grants and is willing to do it for free. 

Tori Vigil:   Aug.8 at noon at Adams State College:  Transgender Issues in the SLV.   Town meetings are happening in the next couple of weeks.  Contact her for more information.  Antonito Labor Day is happening.  Library will be doing their fundraiser.  There will be a parade.   

 

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Board Minutes

 

June 2012 board minutes

Conejos County Coalition

June 6, 2012 @ 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Antonito Mental Health Bld.

Meeting Minutes

 

 

I.          Call to order/ Welcome – Introductions

            A.         Meeting was called to order by Tori Vigil at 9:05 a.m.

            B.         Introduction of Members in attendance:

Name

Position

 Affiliation

     
     
     

Kari Harp

Director SLV Collaborative Mgmt.

SLV Mental Health

Steve Fringer

Community Organizer

SLV MHC Prevention Program

Tori Vigil

Reporter 

Valley Courier

Adam Vasquez

Prevention Supervisor

SLVMHC

Paula Medina

CRP La Jara Trustee

CRP La Jara

Maria Garcia

CCDSS Director

CCDSS

Dennis Koenig

Town Manager

Town of La Jara

Elena Miller

SLVRMC

SLVRMC

Stephanie Goldbranson

Work Force Center

Colorado Work Force Center

Maria De Herrera

CC Library

Conejos County Library District

Daniel Martinez

 Police Chief

La Jara Police Department

 

II.          Library District – Maria De Herrera: Maria gave a brief overview and history of the La Jara Library District. She explained some of the current programs like the computer classes being offered and will be doing individual computer classes by appointment. She also mentioned the Summer Reading Program.  Maria talked about some of the grant funding they have received and how it has been used and some of the future plans for the library. The Conejos County Library will be working with the Colorado Workforce Center to provide a Virtual Work Force Program. The library will provide the space and computer access for people to enroll and participate in this program and help with the administration and enrollment of the Virtual Work Force Program.

III.        Colorado Workforce Center:  Stephanie Goldbranson- Virtual Work Force Program- Stephanie Goldbranson gave a presentation on the Virtual Work Force Program which is an On-line educational program designed to offer courses and instruction in over 600 different subjects/topics and offers continual education endorsements/credits. This program is designed to help people improve their personal, professional and educational skills. The courses vary in length but take about 8 hours per course, and a person has up to 6 months to complete the course and can take up to 5 courses at a time. There is no cost for the courses but to purchase a certificate of completion the cost will be $35.00 (after the first free certificate).

 The Conejos County Library will assist the first 20 people and help them get started and track their progress and offer any assistance they might need. The program starts in January, 2013 and you must get a CC Library Card to sign up for the program. After you are enrolled in the Virtual Work Force, you can access the program courses from your home computer (via internet) or use the library’s computers.

There will probably be more information to follow and can be obtained through contacting the Colorado Workforce Center or the Conejos County Library District.

IV.        Mission Statement: Kari Harp- Kari began the discussion by reviewing briefly what we had covered at the last CCCC meeting.  Kari asked the coalition to come up with answers to questions she wrote on the white board.

1)      Describe what this organization does? What our Coalition does?

Responses:  Provides/ Shares

            Enrich and better lives of Conejos County Citizens

                       Sounding Board / Resources

                      Identify and prevent community issues

                     Collaborate and Connect

Tori gave out some information that she came up with on what this coalition can do and it went along very well with the topic of discussion and we had great participation and input.

2)      Describe how we do this!

Responses:  Identify                                       Increase Communications

Educate                                      Expanding Partnerships                                              Promoting what is possible  Provide Resources

                     Work towards solutions                        

There was a lot of input and participation. The process of coming up with a mission statement will continue and probably take several sessions to complete.

V.         Name of Coalition: Tori Vigil- Tori suggested that we use Conejos County Community Coalition. There was a discussion on keeping the word “Community” in the name of the coalition. Everyone present seemed to be in agreement.

VI.        Round Robin:

Elena Miller- Elena gave out flyers announcing the “Talk about Toddlers” a free parenting seminar.  La Jara Farmers Market starts on July 27thfrom 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.and is in need of some funding to help with the cost of the entertainment / musicians. She also wanted to thank all of those that supported the New Horizon “Walk for Health” events that were held last month.

Maria Garcia- Maria explained that the Conejos County DSS is providing the entire county’s school districts K – 6th grades with standard school supplies (paper, pencils, pens, crayons, notebooks…). This is to help out the schools, students and parents with costly expenses for the upcoming school year.

Tori Vigil- Tori announced the “Sangre de Cristo National Heritage” meeting tonight (6/5/12) at 6:30 p.m. at the GuadalupeParish Hall in Antonito.

VI.        Next Meeting Agenda:

1)      Mission Statement

2)      Discuss Programs

3)      Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center (Narrowing  Questions)

4)      Resources

5)      Round Robin

VII.       Next Meeting time: July 10, 2012 @ 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at NCSD Admin (Centauri)

VIII.      Adjournment:  11:05 a.m.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Board Minutes

 

May 2012 board minutes

Conejos County Coalition

May 1, 2012 @9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

North Conejos School District Admin Building

Meeting Minutes

 

 

I.          Call to order/ Welcome – Introductions

            A.         Meeting was called to order at 9:05 am by Steve Fringer.

            B.         Introduction of Members in attendance:

Name

Position

 Affiliation

     
     
     

Kari Harp

Director SLV Collaborative Mgmt.

SLV Mental Health

Steve Fringer

Community Organizer

SLV MHC Prevention Program

Dennis Lopez

Prevention Supervisor

SLV MHC Prevention Program

Gregg Brown

Police Chief

Sanford Police Department

Maria Garcia

Director DSS

Conejos County DSS

Robert Lockwood

Manassa Police

Town of Manassa

Dennis Koenig 

La Jara Town Manager

Town of La Jara

Celina Espinosa

Wrap Around Coordinator

Wrap Around

Connie Edgar

Public Health Director

Conejos County Public Health

Nadine Chavez

Public Health Nurse

Conejos County Public Health

Carla Archuleta

Assistant Superintendent

North Conejos School District

 

Elena Miller

SLV Health Project

SLVRMC

Julie Reid

OMNI

OMNI Institute

 

II.         Results of Community Health Assessment- Commie Edgar: Connie reported on the results of the Health Assessment and these were the top 3 concerns for Conejos County.                  1) Uninsured Access to Health Care. 2) Unintentional Injury- (fighting, accidents…) expressed need for cultural change such the use of safety equipment i.e. (Bike helmets, safety gear…).        3) Obesity- County is at 18% which is below state and national average. 

 There was discussion of why alcohol and substance abuse and other issues were not mentioned as a priority. The thought was that reporting in small communities and the lack of records available might have contributed to results.

III.        Mission Statement- Dennis Lopez / Kari Harp- Dennis led the group in discussion on one method of creating a mission statement. He gave out information on what a mission statement is and the steps to take in writing one. There were 3 main questions for the group to consider and come up with the top concerns, values and actions. The questions and results were as follows;

A) What are the opportunities or needs that exist that we need to address?                           1. Community Heath/ Family Environment and Addictions (Substance Abuse)

2. Job Skills / Economy

3. Education                                                                                                                                             

B)  What principles or beliefs guide our work?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Respect / Trust / Integrity / Honesty (11)                                                                                 2.  Cooperation / Partnerships / Relationships (10)                                                                                       3.  Economic Security (10)                                                                                                                             4.   Love / Wholeness / Positive Attitude (5)

C)  What do we need to do to address those needs?                                                                                          1. Motivate / Inspire / Excite / Communicate / Educate (5)                                                    2. Expand (4)                                                                                                                                    3. Indentify needs/ Connecting/ Leaders/ Recourses / Training (3)

There was great group participation and Kari and Dennis did a good job with presentation and noted that the process to come up with a mission statement will continue.

IV.        Structure of Officers- Kari Harp- The coalition discussed the need to elect officers to facilitate the growth and development of the Conejos County Coalition. The group decided on a Chair and Vice Chair. The Secretary duties would continue with the SLV Mental Health staff providing that support for now. The group decided on Tori Vigil as Chair Person and Dennis Koenig as Vice Chair. All in attendance were in agreement and ratification of Chair and Vice Chair was made. Officers will serve for a 6 month period.                                                                                                                                         Chair Person: Tori Vigil                                                                                                                                             Vice Chair: Dennis Koenig

 

V.         Round Robin- 

  • Elena Miller- La Jara Farmers Market Committee meets next week. The community is looking for volunteers to help with market day, set up, tear down and clean up. Tori recommended talking to the County Commissioners about hiring youth to help. It was also mentioned to contact Michelle Chavez with probation.                                             Elena also talked about supporting Community Walks being sponsored by the New Horizons School. The walks are scheduled for May 3rd, 10th &17th @ 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. They will start at the bank in La Jara and will only last about 15 minutes each time. Elena asked the coalition members invite the community members to attend these walks to engage, support and encourage these students with this event. Suggestions to advertise and promote these walks through the local paper and flyers were made.

 

  • Connie Edgar- Connie wanted to “Thank” the coalition for the opportunity to share information, collaborate and connect resources with each other.

VI. Next Meeting Agenda:

  1. 1.      Southern Colorado Work Force
  2. 2.      Mission Statement
  3. 3.      Coalition Name
  4. 4.      Round Robin

VII. Next Meeting Date and Time: June 5, 2012 @ 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at the Antonito Mental Health Building.

 Adjournment: 11:00

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Board Minutes

 

April 2012 board minutes

Conejos County Coalition

April 3, 2012 @ 9:00 am

Antonito Mental Health Bld.

Meeting Minutes

 

I.          Call to order/ Welcome – Introductions

            A.         Meeting was called to order at 9:05 am by Steve Fringer.

            B.         Introduction of Members in attendance:

Name

Position

 Affiliation

     
     
     

Kari Harp

Director SLV Collaborative Mgmt.

SLV Mental Health

Steve Fringer

Community Organizer

SLV MHC Prevention Program

Dennis Lopez

Prevention Supervisor

SLV MHC Prevention Program

Gregg Brown

Police Chief

Sanford Police Department

Ruben Graciano

Mi Animo Prevention

SLV Mental Health

Travis De Priest

State Patrol

Colorado State Patrol

Mike Cooper

Manassa Police Chief

Town of Manassa

Paula Hendricks

Public Health

Public Health

Connie Edgar

Public Health Director

Conejos County Public Health

Nadine Chavez

Public Health Nurse

Conejos County Public Health

Carla Archuleta

Assistant Superintendent

North Conejos School District

 

 

II.         Connie Edgar/ Paula Hendricks- Community Health Assessment/ Public Health Data:    Paula Hendricks presented a power point presentation on the Community Health Assessment with the following focus areas.

  • A strategic approach to community health improvement.
  • Vision on community achieving improved health and quality of life.
  • Public Health Planning- Questions, objectives and priorities.
  • Data Presentation – Slides used in presentation will be sent to Kari and she will forward them to Coalition Members.
  • Prioritizing Issues in Conejos County- Members in attendants were asked to prioritize issues in order of importance to them and hand in results to Connie Edgar.

The discussion centered on many health and economic issues facing Conejos County. The presentation was very informative and educational.

III.        Lynn Riemer Community Drug Presentation: Steve Fringer announced that Lynn Riemer with ACT on Drugs Inc. will be doing a presentation on April 17, 2012 at North Conejos School Administration Building (Band Room) @6:30. Lynn Riemer travels around the country and especially around Colorado talking to kids and parents on the dangers of drugs. She has an extensive background in this field with law enforcement, investigation and education.  Her presentation is very educational and beneficial to the community.

IV.        Round Robin:

Carla Archuleta- Carla reported on a Child Abuse Training session she recently attended. She talked about the effects of child abuse, sexual abuse and gave some current data related to child abuse. She gave some helpful hints and ideas for talking to kids about abuse and signs and symptoms of abuse and ideas for fighting this growing problem.  Carla talked about the possibility of having a presentation on Child Abuse in Conejos County in the near future.

Kari Harp- Kari announced the first Annual Cross Systems Symposium to be held here in the Valley at ASC on May 2, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. There will be a guest keynote speaker with workshops and networking opportunities. The symposium is Free and lunch will be served. A flyer will be sent out announcing event, and information for prior registration contact.

Mike Cooper- Mike talked about the ever increasing problem of Rx Drug Use and Abuse. Mike said that there are more deaths related to Rx Drug Use than auto accidents. He mentioned the increase in DUID’s and the difficulties that law enforcement is having in the prosecution of offenders. Officer Travis De Priest with the Colorado State Patrol added information about the DRE’s (Drug Recognition Experts) from the CSP. He talked about the training and field work they are required to have to become a DRE and the important impact they are having in the fight against drugged driving.

Dennis Lopez- Creating a Mission Statement- Dennis gave out information on what a mission statements is, why you need one,  and how to go about creating one and. Dennis mention 4 things to keep in mind while creating a mission statement; 1) Keep it short, 2) Stay Focused, 3) Be specific, 4) Make it inspirational. Dennis asked coalition members to come back to next meeting with ideas and suggestions for our mission statement.

 V.        Agenda for next meeting:

  1. 1.      Mission Statement
  2. 2.      Structure of Officers
  3. 3.      CARE-Environmental Health
  4. 4.      Substance Abuse Rx and Synthetics
  5. 5.      Results from the Community Health Assessment

VI.        Next Meeting time: May 1, 2012 @ 9:00- 11:00 a.m. at North Conejos Admin Building (Centauri)

VII.       Adjournment: 11:00 a.m.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Board Minutes

 
 
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