Just before I left Dallas, I ran into a couple of SMU alumni in the ice cream line at SavorDallas. When they learned I was moving to Taos, they asked if I might like to be involved in a project there called The School Zone – Taos, an offshoot of a project that was established by SMU in West Dallas several years ago.
Some months later, with the results of the presidential election dimming the prospects for public education, I decided to become involved.
Taos is a predominantly rural, predominantly low-income community. However, the population includes quite a few people of means who’ve decided to retire here or who are part-time residents. The purpose of The School Zone – Taos (TSZ-T) is to bring to bear some of SMU’s educational resources, along with others in the local community, on the schools, the teachers, and the nonprofit community that works with school-aged children.
What TSZ-T does is foster a strategic approach and collaboration among those groups that are all working to promote success among K-12 students–and then it sets out to measure that success. In Taos, we really need that. So I am bringing my nonprofit organizing skills to bear on this program in the hope that, over time, we can make a significant difference in this community.