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Mobile children’s museum gets Walmart grants


Ngage New Mexico recently received support from three Las Cruces Walmart stores (located on Rinconada Boulevard, Walton Boulevard and Valley Drive) and the Las Cruces Sam’s Club in the form of four grants of $2,000 each from Walmart Giving to advance the preparation and launch of the ¡Vamos Niños! Mobile Children’s Museum, Ngage and Walmart said in a joint news release.

The museum is expected to be in operation by late 2022, SUCCESS Partnership Communications Coordinator Sommer Mitchell said.

“¡Vamos Ninos! will give children the opportunity for play-based learning, which will provide them with connections to the world around them, creativity and critical thinking skills,” said Engage Museum Development Coordinator Kimmi Cravens.

Doña Ana County is the second most populated county in New Mexico spanning 3,814 square miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, and is home to 37 colonias, rural communities or neighborhoods located within 150 miles of the international border that often lack adequate infrastructure and other basic services, the news release said.

“With so much of our community residing in these underserved areas, it is undeniable that transportation is a barrier to children and families accessing resources to help them survive and thrive,” Cravens said. “¡Vamos Niños! will travel across the entirety of Doña Ana County, bringing help and opportunities to families right where they are.”

The Walmart Foundation has a particular interest in creating economic opportunities and strengthening local communities, the news release said. These values are complemented by philanthropic investments in which the foundation collaborates with others to bring about positive change. Ngage and its SUCCESS Partnership use a collective impact approach to generate change.

Ngage, based in Las Cruces, created the Doña Ana County prenatal to career SUCCESS Partnership education initiative in 2013. The partnership includes parents, education professionals, nonprofits, businesses, regional partners and community leaders “who all believe education is a shared responsibility,” according to www.ngagenm.org.

To donate or learn more about ¡Vamos Niños! – Play to Learn, contact Kimmi Cravens at kimmi@ngagenm.org.