Michelle S. Adames, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Jardin de Los Niños
Helping Children and Families Flourish
Jardin de los Niños is a non-profit organization with a Five-Star early childhood education program. Jardin provides early childhood education, therapeutic intervention, and comprehensive services to homeless and near homeless children from the ages of six weeks to 10 years. Jardin also supports the whole family from a holistic, strengths-based approach. Within the organization is La Tienda de Jardin, which is a unique boutique that sells gently used clothing, jewelry, home décor, art, and collectibles. All of the sales from La Tienda support the programs and services that directly impact the children and families at Jardin de los Niños.
Jardin’s children’s services program centers on the concept of children learning through play by incorporating the physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social needs of children. Through our educational programs, children engage in early learning activities to enhance developmental milestones. Our PreK and Early PreK programs provide high quality early childhood education and experiential learning opportunities to prepare the children for a smooth transition into kindergarten. Jardin’s after school (currently a school-aged classroom) program supports the academic and social emotional growth of the children to enrich the curriculum that is being received in the public education setting.
Through our family and community health services, the children and family members receive wrap-around services that support a holistic, strengths-based approach to stabilizing the family and minimizing the ill effects of homelessness. We offer an Anti-Hunger and Wellness program that provides food baskets to the families on the weekends and during holidays. The goal of this program is to minimize food insecurity and provide basic needs support. At Jardin we believe that “concentration and success come from the combination of food security, which leads to good health and wellness,” -Alma Mendoza, Family Services and Community Health Coordinator. Children enrolled at Jardin receive daily wellness checks and annual health visits, which include vision, dental, hearing, immunizations, and physicals through our partnerships with Amador Health Center, DACC Dental Hygiene program and other community partners who support Jardin’s Mission.
In 2019 Jardin launched its Flourishing Families Parent Mentoring Program (FFPMP). The FFPMP fosters a support network that elevates the families at Jardin from a holistic strengths-based approach so that they will see their full potential through mentoring, career exploration, and a growth mindset. “Our mentoring program provides the opportunity for Community Mentors to work closely with our incredible families in a reciprocal relationship where the Mentees and Mentors learn from one another. Each participant brings a unique perspective that enhances the program experience. It has been an absolute honor to work so closely with our FFPMP Mentees and Mentors. I continue to be inspired by their resilience, strength, and growth. We are so proud of all that our Mentors and Mentees have accomplished and look forward to all that is to come. We know they will continue to make a positive impact within our community and the world,” Diana O’Brien, Director of Development and Community Engagement. Jardin celebrated the graduation of its first cohort in 2020 as the Mentors and Mentees presented to the community the goals that were achieved to culminate the program.
Jardin’s Infant Mental Health Program was launched in 2019 with a small pilot of children and families who received behavioral health services at Jardin. Additionally, in 2020 Jardin launched its initiative to complete the infant mental health endorsement through the New Mexico Association for Infant Mental Health. This initiative was launched with the goal of enhancing our behavioral health services and meeting the needs of our children and families from a trauma informed approach. This yearlong journey has now been accomplished and in May 2021, Jardin de los Niños will officially be endorsed as the first trauma-informed center, in New Mexico, by the NMAIMH. Within our infant mental health program, and through a collaboration with Families and Youth, Inc. Jardin has hired a full-time Licensed Therapist who will provide direct therapy to our children and families within Jardin’s pediatric clinic. Jardin continues to enhance its programs and provide essential training to staff to ensure that we can meet the needs of our families and support the growth and development of the children and families that we serve.
About the SUCCESS Partnership:
The SUCCESS Partnership is a prenatal to career readiness education initiative founded in 2013. The collaborative is supported by a diverse group of cross-sector organizations comprised of parents, education professionals, nonprofit organizations, businesses, regional partners, and community leaders committed to improving educational outcomes in Dona Ana County. The primary support organizations for the SUCCESS Partnership collaborative are Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico, Ngage New Mexico, La Clinica de Familia Family Services, and NMSU Center for Community Analysis.