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Las Vegas nonprofits team up to support students during school closures

Raising Cane's collecting school supplies for kids in Louisiana
Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 19:43:56-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Several local nonprofit organizations are teaming together to increase academic support to young people in the community, especially those who do not have internet and computers at home to participate in online learning.

In the coming months, The Public Education Foundation (The Foundation) and Spread the Word Nevada (STWN) will distribute books, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) workbooks to nearly 80,000 students.

This is especially critical after leaders from the Clark County School District indicated that up to one-third of their 320,000 students do not have access to computers or internet for online learning while schools are closed.

“The Public Education Foundation is dedicated to providing academic workbooks and classroom supplies to as many children as possible while school is out,” said Judi Steele, chief executive officer of The Public Education Foundation. “It is critical that our community provide resources to students and families at this time, especially to students who do not have access to the internet or computers at home.”

“We are looking for additional community partnerships to work with us to distribute books and classroom supplies,” said Lisa Habighorst, Executive Director of Spread the Word Nevada. “Together as a community, we will work to enrich as many students as possible throughout Nevada, especially in our most underserved areas.”

The work is starting with day care programs and pre-kindergarten classes with the City of Henderson. Day care programs for children of emergency responders and other essential employees are located at two facilities and are currently operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Both locations provide meals, structured activities and open play for children from 12-weeks to 14-years of age.

“The City made it a priority to provide 24-hour care for the children of Henderson’s first responders, healthcare workers and other essential employees so they could continue to serve and protect the community without worrying about the safety of their children,” said Mayor Debra March. “We are very thankful to The Public Education Foundation and Spread the Word Nevada for providing learning materials and activities to help keep the kids in our care happy and engaged.”

The Foundation’s Teacher EXCHANGE also provided students served in these programs with markers, colored pencils, educational games and other classroom materials.

Academic workbooks and gently used books are also being distributed in partnership with Serving Our Kids, who provide backpacks of food to children throughout the county.

The Public Education Foundation and Spread the Word also are in discussions with the Clark County School District (CCSD) about distributing the books and academic workbooks in other ways.

Any community partners who have a method of distributing these academic resources are encouraged to submit a Book Donation Request online at spreadthewordnevada.org. Both The Foundation and STWN are able to drop off the materials throughout the county.

All of the gently used books were donated, cleaned, and boxed up before the COVID-19 outbreak.