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Homework Diner on the NBC Nightly News!

We were featured on the NBC Nightly News in January 2014!  Chelsea Clinton and the NBC Nightly News visited our school in 2013 to do a special on our very own Homework Diner.


Homework Diner Needs Help!

Homework Diner is in need of help.  Please click the link below for further information.  And thank you for taking the time to explore our site.



Homework Diner


What is Homework Diner?


Beginning as a 6 week pilot program in the spring of 2012 Homework Diner set out to involve parents in the school/
after school community; engage parents in their child’s academic development; invite communication between
home and school; and give parents support for homework help and ideas they can use at home. Average attendance fluctuated between 35-55 participants during the pilot. Due to overwhelming support from parents’ desire to continue Homework Diner the Leadership Team of Manzano Mesa Community School expanded their relationships to create
a diversified funding stream. Albuquerque Public School District dollars are currently being leveraged approximately
5:1, and now attendance often exceeds 100 participants (students, siblings of students, parents, teachers,
volunteers, etc.).

Manzano Mesa’s Homework Diner also had some great outputs and byproducts as a result of coordination of services


  • More open relationships between teachers and parents; between Spanish and English speaking families
  • More involvement from our Asian community
  • The formation of a Spanish Literacy Adult Education class to help parents in need of greater literacy skills in their native language; an ESL class for parents; and of a parent led English Conversation group
  • Creation of a site specific internship with CNM
  • Children who struggle to complete or understand homework are more successful
  • Middle school siblings bring their homework and are tutored as needed
  • Gaining community recognition through ABQ Sprout Microgrant, Abq Journal article, Blog article: https://

  • Invitation to present HD at Highlands University Parent Engagement class and at APS District School Health

Advisory Council

Homework Diner Combines Nutritious Food and Homework Help

October 7, 2013 --

Low-volume voices were all that could be heard last Monday night at Manzano Mesa Elementary School as about 70 children and their parents concentrated on homework. Then came a luscious home-style meal prepared by CNM culinary students.  It was Homework Diner night at the elementary school, a weekly activity that has become a favorite of staff, children and parents. Every Monday night for nearly two years, students, accompanied by their parents, have come to the school at 5:30 p.m. to get tutoring and help with their homework. The tutors are teachers from each grade level “This is as much about the parents as the students,” said Principal Peggy Candelaria. “By being around the teachers, parents are learning how to help their children with school work at home.” After the homework session is over, they are served a meal prepared by usually two, but last Monday, three CNM culinary students. The chefs that night were CNM students Vicki Baxley, Greg Senteno and Monique Mills. Manzano Mesa’s Community School Coordinator, Deanna Creighton Cook, came up with the idea for Homework Diner. Knowing that Baxley and Mills, whose children attend the school, were culinary students, she asked them to help and they readily agreed. They have been preparing home-style meals for the 100-plus tutors, children and parents regularly ever since. The food is purchased through a USDA grant, "Healthy Meals Fit for Life," awarded to CNM. “The grant promotes healthy eating, and that is what Vicki and Monique provide the Manzano Mesa family every week. It’s kind of an educational experience for all,” said Charlene Selbee, CNM outreach specialist and Hospitality and Tourism part-time instructor. While currently the food is purchased through the grant, Selbee hopes that they will be able to buy it at a low cost from the Roadrunner Food Bank in the future. The grant runs out next year. The goal is to develop partnerships, such as with the food bank, in order to make the Homework Diner program self-sustaining. CNM is also reaching out to the high school culinary programs so their students can also participate in Homework Diner while learning about CNM’s culinary program. On Monday, Oct. 7, five culinary students from Atrisco Heritage High School will help out for the first time. Selbee said that Homework Diner gives the children a chance to catch up with their school work and their parents a night off from the kitchen – a win-win for all.

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