Registration Opens for The Upcoming Town Hall on Strengthening Higher Education and Tomorrow’s Workforce!

Registration Opens for The Upcoming Town Hall on Strengthening Higher Education and Tomorrow’s Workforce! 
Calling on all community members, business leaders, family and labor advocates, educators, tribal representatives, government professionals, elected officials and students to register for the upcoming town hall, Strengthening Higher Education and Tomorrow’s Workforce.

Our state is rich in education and career opportunities but also faces challenges. New Mexico First is actively working to overcome those challenges by researching barriers to progress and convening a statewide deliberation on solutions. READ MORE

Study of Family Factors and Quality of Life in Children with Down Syndrome

Dear Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network,

My name is Anna Lee. I am a nursing doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am emailing you to ask for help. 

I am working with Dr. Marcia Van Riper, nursing professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is active in research on families of children with Down Syndrome globally and she has a program of research concerning adaptation and resilience in families of individuals with Down Syndrome ( 

We are conducting a study concerning family factors and the quality of life in children with Down Syndrome. This study has been approved by the IRB at the University of North Carolina. I am wondering if you could let your members know my study and encourage them to participate in my study. This is a web-based online survey, using an individual electronic link. Once a survey is completed, the individual electronic link for the survey will become inactive. 

Findings from this study will help health care providers and researchers to gain an in-depth understanding of the quality of life in children with Down Syndrome and families. I am attaching the invitation letter for the study. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my email. Have a great day!



Community Classes

Hope everyone's summer is going well and that getting back to the swing of life is going smoothly.  Here is a list of organization's that are providing adaptive classes for individuals with ASD this fall. 


Keshet Dance Company


See website for classes:


The Mountain Dojo

All classes are held at 319 Mountain Rd NE (near the Main Post Office), range of ages 3 to Adult, and are pay what you can/donation based. 

For more information please contact Stef at or call 701-720-8634


Monday Martial Arts: Starts August 7th

               4:30 - 5:15  Itty Bitty's  3-6

               5:30 - 6:30  Marital Arts 13+

               6:30 - 8:00  Adult


Tuesday African Drumming/Music: Starts August 15th

                4:00 - 4:45 Beginning Drumming 6+

                4:45 - 5:45 Drumming Ensemble 10+

                5:45 - 6:45 Adult Drum Circle

                7:00 - 8:00 Songwriting Workshop 16+


Thursday Marital Arts: Starts August 10th

                 3:45 - 4:30 Martial Arts 6-12

                 4:30 - 6:00 Kung Fu Opera (an original theater production) 12+  (must join before October 1st)

                 6:00 - 7:00 Adult




Other organizations that have taken training with us:


UNM Continueing Education




Girls and Boys Club


Bricks 4 Kidz New Mexico




In other news,  today is my last day working at the CDD for Camp/Recreational Program. It has been such a pleasure being a part of such a magical place and getting to know all the families and amazing individuals.  I may not be in this position anymore, but I am still very much connected to Camp Rising Sun and its future and will be continuteing to teach classes and providing programing for individuals with ASD at The Mountain Dojo. 


If you have any questions or want to know more about other recreational programs, please contact Mariah Montoya at


Thank you for sharing your time with me and I hope the fall is amazing. 


Have a great weekend,





Stef Graner

Recreation Service Coordinator


State Fair Sensory Station

Dear Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network,


My name is Cesar Colunga, I am currently an employee of EXPO New Mexico.  This year The State Fair is designing an area called the "State Fair Sensory Station." We are aware that the State Fair can be an overly stimulating environment; we want to create an area that parents can take their children to an indoor private area who may need to deescalate.  The area is open for anybody because it is a public space, however, the target market is to accommodate individuals who special needs, such as Autism or Down Syndrome.  I have met with the New Mexico Autism Society and have gotten ideas and advice from them.  I was wondering if I could potentially meet with somebody from the Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network, or if you could get me in contact with somebody that would know the answers to the questions I might have, and to questions I haven't even thought to ask yet.  I am in charge of making this area a reality and the New Mexico State Fair is the first to include an area like this in their fair.  I am determined to make this area a success and with the advice and guidance from the Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network, I know that this area shall be a success. As of right now, I am drawing most my inspiration from the Sensory-Friendly Hours of Explora.


Hope to hear from you soon.


Cesar Colunga
State Fair Sensory Station Coordinator
New Mexico State Fair/EXPO New Mexico