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At 25, Jardin de los Niños to honor founders


Jardin de los Niños, which provides education and childcare services to homeless and near-homeless children in Las Cruces, will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a special recognition of its founders, Sister Beth Daddio and the late Sister Anna Waldschmitt.

 “Jardin exists because of the dream, hard work, and dedication that Sister Beth and Sister Anna had for creating a safe, loving and caring place for children and families in our community,” said Jardin Executive Director Michelle S. Adames, Ph.D. “Words will never be enough to express our gratitude for the difference they have made in the lives of so many. Our work continues to stand on the strong foundation they set for helping elevate others.

The celebration, Champions for Children Gala, will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, at New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road.

Tickets are $70 each, with half-table (five seats) sponsorships available at $600 and full-table (10 seats) sponsorships at $1,200. You can purchase tickets and sponsorships at https://jardinlc.org/.

For more information, contact Adames at 575-522-2111 or michelle.adames@jardinlc.org.

Jardin de los Niños’ story

In the summer of 1994 Sister Beth Daddio and Sister Anna Waldschmitt spoke with service providers in the Las Cruces area about the unmet needs of the local homeless population. Repeatedly, these providers expressed the need of young homeless families for immediate, safe childcare for their young children.

Community leaders worked together and by December 1995, Jardin de los Niños opened its doors at Peace Lutheran Church on Missouri Avenue with two classrooms, one for preschoolers and one for infants and toddlers.

In February 1996, a van was purchased to transport the children of families who had no other access to transportation. As time passed, Jardin added two additional classrooms, and playgrounds were built and equipped. By 1997, Jardin had instituted a comprehensive family-support program.

In 2001, Jardin moved into its new, permanent home at 999 W. Amador Ave. as part of the Community of Hope campus, where it serves children ages six weeks to 10 years old, with each age group in its own classroom with adjoining playground.

At the time, Jardin was one of two programs in the state providing these services to this unique population, and one of only five original programs of its kind in the nation.
In 2005, Jardin received funding from the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) for its pre-kindergarten program. In 2019, CYFD awarded additional pre-K funding to Jardin, allowing it to expand early childhood educational services.

In 2016, Jardin received a five-star rating from the New Mexico FOCUS program, and in 2018, Jardin expanded its community health services with a clinic that is supported through a collaboration with Amador Health Center.