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Is pay-to-play putting extra curricular activities for Las Vegas valley students out of reach?

Cheerleading team hopes to raise $7K in a week
Posted: 6:56 PM, Aug 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-16 08:43:46-04
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LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Del Sol Academy cheerleaders have nothing to cheer about. They are having to raise money to pay for a mountain of debt and continue as a team.

The squad's coach is unable to go on camera but she told 13 Action News they have to come up with $5,000 dollars by next week. They have a social media campaign and a GoFundMe now. Parents have donated. Previous squad members have also donated, but it's still not enough.

They're the team that cheers people on but now the Del Sol cheerleaders are the ones that need a lift.

The team is working to raise money to pay off previous bills for uniforms and t- shirts while also working to get new apparel for the current team.

The squad found a spotter in Rachel Villafuerte and Vivian Pescozo. Friends of Del Sol's coach Melody Mays.

They're helping the team raise money on social media -- spreading this campaign video of the cheerleaders and through a dance class where participants are asked to donate five dollars or more.

Rachel Villafuerte says, "Unfortunately there's some families that can't afford it and we felt that there's a need for us to come in and step in."

They have to raise $14,000 but coach Melody says the school will match the $7,000 the squad is trying to come up with.

"Not everyone can afford these uniforms. Not everyone can afford these programs so if we can just get them away from the streets and do cheer that would be amazing," says Vivian Pescozo.

A C.S. Mott Children's Hospital national study shows sports and other extra curricular activities have an average cost of $126 to $408.

"We don't want these leaders to not have this opportunity because of money," says Villafuerte.

When asked about what's covered in the district's budget for extracurricular activities, we're told:

Principals work to best distribute their funds for extracurricular programs unique to their school community. For uniforms that are custom, specific to a student, or are kept when they leave the school, other methods are utilized to come up with the funds, including fundraising.

Extracurricular activities are an added aspect to the overall educational experience we provide our students with the limited resources available. Principals work to best distribute their funds for extracurricular programs unique to their school community.

This school in particular, has used funds to cover the cost of some student uniforms for various extracurricular activities the school offers that are used by various students year over year. For uniforms that are custom, specific to a student, or are kept when they leave the school, other methods are utilized to come up with the funds, including fundraising.