FARMINGTON — A local organization is collecting backpacks and school supplies for area youth involved with behavioral health services.

San Juan County Communities of Care is conducting its first school supply drive for students. The group is collecting backpacks, notebooks, loose-leaf paper, highlighters, three-ring binders, protractors and scissors.

The organization is made up of community stakeholders who are involved with behavioral and mental health services, said Carol Leuenhagen, Farmington transition coordinator for New Mexico's Children, Youth and Families Department

Representatives from the Farmington Police Department, San Juan Safe Communities Initiative, Cottonwood Clinical Services and CYFD are part of the organization. They work together for the benefit of youth and families involved with behavioral health services.

Collected school supplies will go to children involved with CYFD or other health services who need the items, said Farmington police spokeswoman Georgette Allen.

Leuenhagen said this is the group's first big project, and its members came up with the idea after attending the New Mexico Communities of Care meeting in Albuquerque.

"We came back from the summit, and we wanted to do something and it was short notice," Leuenhagen said. "There's been a small group of us who pulled this together in about four to five weeks."

Community members have already donated a number of supplies, and Leuenhagen said she is thankful for that.

"I am just grateful for the outpouring of support," she said.


Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or Follow him on Twitter @jkelloggdt.