Local News13 ConnectsSummer Rise


Las Vegas nonprofits team up to help kids continue learning

Posted at 12:00 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 15:16:38-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The kids are home and teachers are trying to make sure students don't fall behind.

That's the reason why here at 13 Action News, we're committed to our 13 Connects community initiative called “Super Summer Rise."

We're focusing on our children's education and development as they stay home during the pandemic and into the summer months.

Many of those children are in need with little to no books of their own, but several area nonprofits are coming together to help kids continue their learning outside of the classroom.

It’s been Spread the Word Nevada’s mission to get books in the hands of children in need in the valley as soon as schools closed.

"About a third of our kids here in Clark County don’t have access to the internet, let alone have the tools to get on to the internet... We need to get our books and workbooks and the old way of school out as quickly as possible even with families with laptops and who have that access."

Lisa Harbighorst is Spread the Word Nevada’s executive director.

Soon after Clark County students were sent home due to the pandemic, the organization helped deliver and hand out 2,000 care packages — inside are books, workbooks, school supplies and hygiene kits.

"About 3,000 we’ve left on doorsteps of kids who are most needy and we’ve called those families and made sure they’re ready for their packages and they’re using those supplies. About 9,000 went out through direct food supply sites at the stations casinos where we have bags there for their kids."

But they’re not doing this alone.

This feat is made possible through the coalition of local organizations, including The Public Education Foundation providing school supplies.

Communities in Schools, which reaches out to and refers families, as well as Station Casinos and Three Square that hold food supply drive-thrus.

This partnership allowed Spread the Word Nevada to expand its services — from serving pre-kindergargten to 5th grade students to now also helping high school students.

But that also means there’s an increase in need.

"We are really lacking middle school and high school books. As well as 4th and 5th grade chapter books. So if anybody has a stock of those or just your kid has outgrown them we will certainly take them here."

Lisa hopes the organizations will continue working together even after the pandemic ends to better serve the community.

"It’s good for all of us to realize that we’re stronger together and nobody can do all of this themselves."

Spread the Word Nevada accepts new and used books as well as monetary donations.

13 Connects Super Summer Rise is sponsored by America First Credit Union and Subaru of Las Vegas.