2018-08-08, Taylene Jacko, E-League After School Program

President Patty Groth called the meeting to order at 12:07.  Richelle Ponder gave the invocation.  After Gary Brockway discussed why the Halls of Montezuma and the Shores of Tripoli are included in the Marine Corps Hymn, Charlotte Brockway led us in singing the first and third verses of the Hymn.  We pledged allegiance to the flag.  Ted Shelton’s wife Mary Lee Bailey Shelton from the Juarez Campestre Rotary Club visited our club.  Our club guests included Joe Montoya, Joe Mendiola, and Andres Rivera from the Marine Corps Reserve.  We will work with them in the Toys for Tots Campaign.  Our speaker was Taylene Jacko, and there were no student guests.   Patty noted that fines and happy dollars would support the Arrowhead Robotics Team.  We circulated and greeted our fellow Rotarians.  The mystery Rotarian was Gus Gandara, and Keith Houser fined anyone who had not shaken Gus’s hand.

Announcements and Happy Dollars:  Mark Santiago gave a happy contribution in honor of our Marine Corps guests; Fran Boldt contributed because she was glad to be back from a trip to Santa Fe and because Fran Kemp had fixed the piano pedal; Richelle Ponder announced her new office puppy, but also said that her daughter Katelin will have more leg surgery; Larry Candelaria praised the accomplishments of club members and their help to the community; Steve Loman contributed because the Marine Corps provides services for all military branches; and Keith Houser celebrated interns who had worked at the Department of Energy.  Bill Harty passed a card in memory of Gary Esslinger’s mother, who passed away this week.  Kristi Granados’ The Rotarian contents quiz was about Ann Moore, the Rotarian who invented the Snugli. 

The Program

John Pickett introduced our speaker, Taylene Jacko, the Director of E-League.  She discussed her background, including three years working for Crosstown.  Ms. Jacko decided to help the community by seeking at least one volunteer from each of the approximately 150 churches in Las Cruces, and she then asked the LCPS Superintendent what he would most like to do if he had 150 volunteers.  He wanted her to help develop a program to improve reading skills.  Ms. Jacko became Director of the E-League program.   It uses an NMSU-developed software package, MindPlay, that has been installed in all of the public schools, to bring students to reading levels of 800 words per minute.  MindPlay exercises promote the development of moral and ethical behavior. 

Ms. Jacko visited churches to recruit and train volunteers, and she developed MOUs with schools and sent volunteer teams to specific public schools.  Ideally the volunteers will be at the schools for three-hour afternoon periods on each of three mid-week school days per week.  After a snack period, students work on the MindPlay exercises with assistance from their volunteer mentors.  Ms. Jacko needs additional volunteers to expand the program and to give her administrative/computer help, but she believes that the program can be assisting 6 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 2 high schools by the end of Fall 2018.  After the end of the formal reading exercise sessions, volunteers can play board games such as Old Maid with the students, and guide them in discussions, provide homework mentoring, teach them about hobbies, and assist the students’ development in other ways.  Ms. Jacko said that as students absorb good values through their reading exercises, their home neighborhoods will also benefit.  The club applauded Ms. Jacko’s presentation.

After the Program

Patty Groth said that we have gained access to a 7,000 square foot warehouse with 24-hour security for the Toys for Tots.  She announced that we collected $52 for the can today.  Steve Loman won the lottery, and his prize was an Aggie drink can holder that he will give to his grandson.  The meeting closed with the Four-Way Test.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Joe Montoya


Joe Mendiola


Andres Rivera


Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

Mary Lee Shelton

Juarez Campestre

Student Guests




it's summer!








Submitted by Jeff BrownJeff Brown