Vegas for the Family Blog Publisher Christine Kramar is Running for Nevada Assembly District 13

As readers of this blog over the last 4 years know I am a committed community activist concerned about the issues that impact our families. When I first started writing this blog our families were struggling through the great recession, and many continue to make a slow recovery.

I have researched the issues and done my best to encourage us all to enter public comment when possible on the issues. Over the years I found that education in Nevada had become a game of “GOTCHA” politics where even those of us watching it closely were surprised by the changes made to our education system so swiftly. Unfortunately we always have had money for programs to serve corporations in their goal to make money off of our kids rather than actually listen to parents, students, and experienced classroom teachers about what will actually work for our students. Video End Bump

I attended hearings on education reform disappointed to see that these meetings were filled with special interest lobbyists at times when classroom teachers and parents busy working their jobs and raising their families never could make it to participate. The methods online to share your input are convoluted and not user friendly. Nor were lawmakers actively seeking those who would take exception to these new policies to have their voices heard. Few if any keep a blog or manage a website dedicated to constituent outreach to keep concerned citizens in the loop on important legislation that will later affect the lives of citizens.

Then I followed the money. I was disappointed to see that the same group of lobbyists have paid off both political parties to push through this agenda.

I got mad. First I tried to find a candidate to run for office. Few people want to speak truth to power no matter how committed they are to the principle because it is tremendously time consuming and for an inexperienced candidate it is both an expensive and daunting task. Given my experience operating grassroots campaigns and social media I had no other choice than to look in the mirror.

Don’t for a second pass off my candidacy as a politically naive homemaker doing this as a hobby. I have political experience and knew what this race would entail – and I did it anyway. Yes, my opponent is a prolific fundraiser and will outspend my campaign on nasty photoshopped pictures of me. He will pull out some vague half truth and try to run with it. That’s politics. What I can offer is that I will be an active force in the community my opponent had his opportunity to be his one session in office and passed on it.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns about my campaign. I am not a single issue candidate.  Education however was the final draw that made me file for this election cycle. I am well versed on all of the legislative issues which is why I have held my own and earned the endorsement of several community organizations.

What I will do different is to fully engage the community as I have done on every cause I have worked on. I know that parents have the right to speak up and I will bring forward hearings in our own district to make this happen. Our district is impacted by many issues that have outreach events done by legislators on the other side of town – but never in our district. That has to change.


If you are big enough to do it – Be big enough to own it. I will own my position as your next Assemblywoman with job number one to be a voice for our families. The economy is coming back and its important that our views be at the table to ensure the budget cuts to essential services are restored before corporate special interests get new tax breaks.

I am not the candidate hand picked by the political establishment to keep the status quo rolling of finger pointing and kicking the can down the road. I don’t owe any political favors. My job will be to represent the people of the assembly district I call home in the far northwest Nevada assembly district 13.

Please consider joining my campaign at or on social media below:

Kramar 2014



Blog Post Candidate Disclosure

About these ads

CCSD Needs Your Help with a Magnet School Survey

CCSD is asking for help from parents to please answer a short survey about if you would support additional magnet schools.


The Clark County School District (CCSD) has an opportunity to compete for federal funds to support magnet schools to expand public school choices for students. A magnet school offers specialized academic programs through theme-based instruction that often increases student interest and engagement. CCSD needs your input about the magnet school concept. Please share your ideas with us by completing this brief survey. No identifying information will be collected, and your identity will not be revealed. Thank you for your participation.

CLICK HERE to get started on the survey.  

Tips for Working with the CCSD School Bus System

Parents in the Las Vegas valley have some confusion about our local school bus system. I hope that my information below will help clear up any confusion.

Question:  How do I know if my child is eligible for bus transportation?

Answer: Go to the school district transportation website, enter in your address, and it will tell you if your zoned schools are transportation eligible.


school bus information map


After your information has been entered the computer will tell you what schools for your neighborhood have bus transportation available.

The district site will tell you which schools are eligible for transportation:

Specific stop locations are not listed on this website.

Question:  How do I register for bus transportation?

Answer:  A transportation form has been included in registration packets for each school year. If you do not recall completing such a form, or you did not use bus transportation in the past you will be best served to register for service this year.


Question: What is my student’s ID number?

Answer: This is a six or seven digit number that appears on all of the school correspondence including grade reports and newsletters. If you have a Parentlink account activated you can find your child’s ID number from the detail screen about your student.  The transportation department will not give you this number over the phone.  Your child’s school may give you the number with proper ID with many offices not able to give it out over the phone.


To speak to a transportation representative call (702) 799-8111.

Monday through Friday: 6:00 am – 5:00pm

Saturday and Sunday: 8:00am – 4:00pm

Click here to go to LIVE CHAT with an agent during the hours above.


Question: What about buses for magnet schools?

Answer:  When you register for magnet school the transportation form is included.  You can access your student’s bus information through the website using their id number.


Question: My child is in special education are those buses also handled by this department?

Answer:  Special education buses are handled by the transportation department. These bus drivers and assistants see only the page of your child’s IEP regarding transportation outlining what services the student specifically needs to be transported to and from school.


Question: When are bus notices mailed to my home?

Answer: I have been told that bus notices will be mailed and put on ParentLink no later than August 15th.


Question: How am I notified about changes to the bus stop or schedule?

Answer: Your student will receive a new print out from the driver.  Since my kids seem to lose theirs I also keep a close eye on the ParentLink website. I am emailed every time a new message is waiting for me on ParentLink so I can login and see what I need to know. The bus notices are frequent the first few weeks of school.


Question: What about the activity buses?

Answer: These are buses at select schools that transport your student 1-2 hours after the end of the school day so that they can have access to after school programs. The details about each of these programs you will need to get from your school.  These buses run depending on how many students decided to participate in activities so it may be a shorter or longer bus ride for your child at the end of the day.


Question: What time should I arrive to the bus stop?

Answer: You should arrive at least 15 minutes early to the bus stop on the first day, and expect that the bus may be as much as 1 hour late. On normal days after the first week of school buses run for the most part on time.


Question: When should I call the transportation department over a late bus?

Answer: This depends on the age of your child. For my youngest children I call when the bus is 30 minutes or more late. My older kids I call if the bus is more than an hour late. Keep the phone number to the transportation department programmed on your cell phone  799-8111. Also if your student is on a bus after 5pm when the transportation phone lines close you will need to get the number for the local station the buses leave from for your area so that you can speak to that local dispatcher after the main hotline closes. For magnet school students one snag along the way and the bus may be out as late as 7. In an emergency you can always call the school police 799-5411 for assistance if your child is extremely late.


Question: What happens when a school bus breaks down or gets in an accident?

Answer: CCSD does a great job of keeping parents informed in the event of a break down or accident. Our family has had two experiences over the last 5 years once a tire blew out on the way home from school and before my son’s bus was even late the transportation office called me with a new time that he would arrive. My son reported that no fewer than 6 people all showed up to get the bus back on the road. My daughter’s bus had an accident where a piece of debris flew out of a truck onto the bus cracking a window. The driver being very cautious for the students safety stopped the bus and a new bus was sent to pick up the kids. Again, the transportation department called to tell me even before the bus was late.


Question: What happens if my child gets on the wrong bus?

Answer: The first weeks of school the staff is vigilant to ensure that all students are tagged with their names and stop information. My daughter’s school used colored bracelets. This worked well until she and her friend decided to switch colors and she took the wrong bus because her name tag and bracelet had not been matched. So she rode on a bus to a different neighborhood and was the last kid on the bus when the driver found out. Again, transportation called me so I would not have to worry. This incident was taken very seriously and my daughter was returned to our stop by a supervisor.  So please remind your children that the color coded necklaces and bracelets the schools pass out are for safety, not as fashion accessories.


Question: What about discipline on the bus?

Answer: The first and foremost job of the bus driver is student safety. Drivers cannot do their jobs distracted by unruly children. Their job is to drive the bus, not break up fights. Most annoying I have heard from bus drivers are parents who expect them to keep track of petty she-said-this she-said-that fights on the bus. First of the bus is so loud the driver cannot hear what smack talk is happening at the back of the bus no better than you can hear what your own kids are saying in the backseat of the minivan with the stereo on. Now just imagine that by 30 plus screaming kids! Just like you the bus driver does not have eyes on the back of their head to see if anything gets stolen or snatched.

All the driver can do is write up a referral (delaying the bus for everyone) and have the school administrators handle it. This again is an exercise in futility because of course by two days after the event has happened kids deny that they did anything wrong. Riding the bus in many ways is a at-your-own-risk proposition if your child is a target of bullies. The only solution at hand is to have your child ride in the very front seat alone.

However if your child is disabled on an IEP you can request a transfer to special education busing to your neighborhood school if the environment on the bus interferes with his or her ability to learn at school.

Go over the top ten basic bus safety rules with your children. 

As with the rest of the school environment have your children keep their expensive electronic toys off of the bus. For my kids we purchased cheap $10 MP3 players at BigLots for the ride to and from school so in case it gets lost it is not the crisis that comes with losing a more expensive device. Tell your kids to keep their cell phones inside their backpack at all times. Again, we give our kids the cheapest phone possible prepaid with only a few minutes so that if it is lost it is not a financial crisis resulting in charges to our real cell phone account. One lost cell phone within minutes can charge hundreds to your bill in malicious purchases if your account is not adequately protected. Kids may take days to tell you they have lost their phone.~Have a great school year. Remember that your child’s bus driver is only human, and that safety and courtesy are everyone’s job from parents to drivers and administrators too. Let’s have a great 2011-2012 school year!

YouthWorks Volunteer Program for Teens at the Childrens Museum

YouthWorks is a Program at the Las Vegas Childrens Museum

It is often hard to find good volunteer programs for high school students to get their credit hours. Here is a great option.  I would have my student apply early in the year.

The YouthWorks program is all-inclusive and designed for high school students, ages 14-17 years old. This program provides volunteers with opportunities to enhance their own lives through education. YouthWorks offers a unique opportunity to gain work experience and build a community service record that will help in getting high school credit or building college portfolios. In addition to volunteering, youth also participate in a variety of different programs including Seminar Series, Teen Awards Nights, and College Summit.

Volunteers enroll and perform volunteer work throughout the year. The program focuses on enrolling teens from culturally diverse backgrounds, particularly those living in neighborhoods near the museum. Additionally, the program is designed to be inclusive to all youth, and to this end, the museum strives to reach and serve children with physical disabilities, as well as children with hyperactive attention deficit disorders.

The following are ways in which you can volunteer:

 Assistant Presenter: Assist with groups and/or families visiting the museum by enthusiastically interpreting exhibits. Help transform their experience into one they are sure to remember. Must like working closely with kids.

 Extended Education Assistant: Assist with preparation and facilitation of special arts and science projects for Creativity Workshop or Imagination Station.

 Office Support: Assist with clerical/office work such as filing and data entry as well as receptionist duties.

 Demonstrator: Assist with the preparation and presentation demonstrations throughout the museum floor.

 Exhibit Assistant: Work with the exhibits department to repair, maintain and relocate, when necessary, exhibits.

 Birthday Party Assistant: Assist with birthday party check-in, room set up and clean up and preparation of materials.

To apply for the program:
Click here for the YouthWorks Volunteer Application

2013 Back to School Fairs

August 2nd

Ward 6 with City Councilman Steve Ross 

Friday, Aug. 2, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Centennial Hills Park, Elkhorn Road at Buffalo Drive.
Join me for the Back-to-School Fair and Movie in the Park! Free school supplies, binders and light refreshments will be given out while supplies last. Enjoy a balloon artist, face painters, jump house and the “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” movie. Remember to bring blankets and low chairs. Smoothie King is our sponsor for the movie and will have smoothies available for purchase. Hawaiian Shaved Ice also will have items available for purchase.

August 3rd

Back to School Health Fair at Las Vegas Metro Headquarters 400 MLK

See poster above for details.  This event features dental screenings, immunizations, and free haircut vouchers.

Lawrence Weekly’s 14th annual back to school fair


Back to School Health Fair at Goett Family Park

10950 Southern Highlands Pkwy,Henderson, NV, 89141,United States   from 5 to 7pm Vaccinations available

Back to School Clinic at Green Valley Library 12 noon – 4pm

August 8th

Ward 2 Back-to-School Fair and Movie in the Park

Thursday, Aug. 8, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Free admission.
AnSan Sister City Park, 7801 Ducharme Ave. at Villa Monterey.
Join Councilman Beers for the Back-to-School Fair and Movie in the Park (“Pirates of the Caribbean”). Free school supplies and binders will be given out, while supplies last. Light refreshments and beverages will be provided. Enjoy a balloon artist, face painters and jump house. For more information, call 229-6405.

August  9

Back to School for Children with Special Health Care Needs  2-5pm

Nevada Early Intervention Services  (NEIS) 1161 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas, NV,United States

August  10

Cox Back to School Fair at  Meadows mall, 4300 Meadows Lane

Cox back-to-school fairs are free events that feature a coalition of community agencies and organizations hosting informational booths to assist local parents and their children in returning to school.

Scheduled participants include several divisions of the Clark County School District including: human resources, substitute services, support staff, facilities/zoning, food service, transportation and school police.

The Southern Nevada Health District will provide immunizations for school-aged children for a minimal fee. Parents must bring their child’s shot record for immunizations.

For more information or to become a vendor at the 2013 Cox back-to-school fairs, contact Lucia Newman at or visit

La Oportunidad at Cashman Center 

This event has free backpacks, health screenings, and immunizations offered (no detail if those are free).

La Oportunidad Expo

Fire Department Open House and Back to School Fair

August 15

Back-to-School Fair and Movie

Thursday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m. movie begins at dusk
West Charleston Lions / Essex Circle Park, 600 Essex Drive
Enjoy the movie “The Pirates: Band of Misfits” (rated PG) and community vendors. School supplies and refreshments will be available while supplies last. Food will be available for purchase from local food trucks.

August 16

Ward 4 Back-to-School Fair and Movie

Friday, Aug. 16, 6:30 p.m.
Durango Hills Community Center, 3521 N. Durano Drive
Free school supplies, popcorn and water, while supplies last. Enjoy the PG-rated family film, “The Pirates: Band of Misfits.” Free admission.

August  17

Cox Back to School Fair at Boulevard mall, 3528 S. Maryland Parkway

Cox back-to-school fairs are free events that feature a coalition of community agencies and organizations hosting informational booths to assist local parents and their children in returning to school.

Scheduled participants include several divisions of the Clark County School District including: human resources, substitute services, support staff, facilities/zoning, food service, transportation and school police.

The Southern Nevada Health District will provide immunizations for school-aged children for a minimal fee. Parents must bring their child’s shot record for immunizations.

For more information or to become a vendor at the 2013 Cox back-to-school fairs, contact Lucia Newman at or visit

Free Back-to-School Fair At East Las Vegas Community Center

Saturday, Aug. 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
East Las Vegas Community Center, 250 N. Eastern Ave., (702) 229-1515.
Residents are invited to the East Las Vegas Community Center for a back-to-school fair. Free school supplies will be given out, and free sno cones will be offered, while supplies last. Enjoy face painting, crafts for the kids and a jump house, too. Admission is free.

Free Back-to-School Fair at Heritage Park 

Back to School Fair at Heritage Park at Washington and Las Vegas Blvd   10am – 1pm

August 22

Back-to-School Safety Fair and Pool Party

Thursday, Aug. 22, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

4141 Meadows Lane,Las Vegas, NV, United States
Enjoy  a day at the pool and community vendors. School supplies and refreshments will be available while supplies last. The Southern Nevada Health District will be providing immunizations from 5 to 7 p.m.

August  24

Cox Back to School Fair at The Galleria at Sunset, 1300 W. Sunset Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cox back-to-school fairs are free events that feature a coalition of community agencies and organizations hosting informational booths to assist local parents and their children in returning to school.

Scheduled participants include several divisions of the Clark County School District including: human resources, substitute services, support staff, facilities/zoning, food service, transportation and school police.

The Southern Nevada Health District will provide immunizations for school-aged children for a minimal fee. Parents must bring their child’s shot record for immunizations.

For more information or to become a vendor at the 2013 Cox back-to-school fairs, contact Lucia Newman at or visit

Sons of Norway Scholarship Now Open for Clark County Students!

The sons of Norway have a scholarship for local Clark County student!

Check out all of the details on their website. 

Or Tweet them at @VegasVikingGang

Sons of Norway Vegas Viking Lodge 6-152
2013 Scholarship Application

Please fill out and mail before April 10, 2013. 
You must be of Norwegian descent, a legal resident of Clark County, Nevada, at least a senior in high school and must maintain full-time student status to be eligible for this scholarship.  The scholarship value is at least $500 and must be used for post-high school studies.  Please print or type all information.  All questions must be answered or designated as N/A if not applicable.  Failure to answer the questions on this three-part, three-page application may negatively affect its evaluation.

In the fifth year of awarding Vegas Viking scholarships, $2,500 was divided among these local students of Norwegian descent:

Summer Business Institute Applications Available

Student applications for Clark County’s 2013 Summer Business Institute (SBI) – a summer paid internship program for current high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors – are currently available online. summer jobs for teens in so nv

Students must submit their application and all accompanying documents by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, to be considered for the program. Students are strongly encouraged to begin working on their application and compiling the necessary accompanying documents as soon as possible so they do not miss the application deadline.Video from Class of 2012

This is the 17th year Clark County has sponsored the SBI program, which provides selected teenagers employment opportunities in a variety of fields including law, medicine, architecture, education, and communications. The program is a partnership between Clark County, the Clark County School District, and more than 80 area businesses.

“The Summer Business Institute gives our best students valuable workplace experience,” Commissioner Lawrence Weekly said. “The many local businesses and organizations that participate in SBI make this program a great success year after year.”
Program applications will be available online through the County website at:

Students requiring assistance completing the application online may contact their local high school job bank office or the Human Resources Department at (702) 455-4565.

Students are reminded that their complete application will include several documents and letters. The necessary documents include the student’s most recent school transcript; two letters of recommendation, and a signed and dated statement from their school principal, counselor or dean recommending the student for the SBI program. The letters of recommendation may be from a teacher, school administrator, religious leader, or employer, but may not come from a family member.

The application must be completed online through the County’s website. The supporting documents may be attached to the online application, or faxed to (702) 868-2504. Documents may also be hand delivered or mailed to the Clark County Human Resources Office at the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas 89155. Completed applications with all necessary supporting documents must be received by the Human Resources Office before 5 p.m. Feb. 8 to be considered for the 2013 program.

County staff will select 120 Clark County high school students who will be juniors, seniors, or college freshmen by the fall of 2013 to participate in the program. The program runs from June 17 through Aug. 9. Students will be selected based on interviews, volunteer activities and other criteria established by Clark County and the Clark County School District. Participants will be paid $8.25 an hour to work eight-hour days Monday through Thursday. Through regular seminars on Fridays, the students will learn about financial management, life skills and civic engagement. Additionally, all participants may be eligible for college scholarships at the close of the program.

All SBI applicants may also try to sign up for a free Leadership and Resilience course from Nevada Partners Inc. Due to limited space, only 100 students will be allowed to attend the course. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Jeramey Pickett at to reserve a seat as soon as possible.

The free courses will be held on four consecutive Saturdays, Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Nevada Partners Event Center at 710 W. Lake Mead Boulevard, North Las Vegas. The courses will include sections on resume writing, interviewing, dressing for success, customer service, time management, nutrition/exercise, and social and educational objectives.

Clark County launched the SBI program in 1996 in an effort to expose inner-city youth to the variety of career choices around them. Over the years, the program was expanded to serve a more diverse student population.
For more information call (702) 455-2426 or (702) 455-4565.

Summer biz 2013

Full Day Kindergarten for the 2012-2013 School Year – Applications and Deposit Due April 30th

Full day kindergarten in Clark County Schools is not free.

Vouchers for free full day childcare are limited in our community and if you know you will need help, apply early, follow up on your application, and make alternate plans. Additionally considering the cost for full day kindergarten with the additional price of after school care for SafeKey many parents select to use a private kindergarten childcare center.

While Nevadans to the north in our state enjoy discounted full day kindergarten of only $65 a week (an easier payment for families to meet and $100 less than Clark County) they also have scholarship programs for low income families (Clark County does not) and Washoe’s program is expanded to all locations throughout the district. Take a look at what our tax dollars pay for in Northern Nevada for their kindergarten students while our local school district suffers.  Parents in Clark County have to drive their students to a handful of schools in the district at their own expense rather than enjoy their neighborhood school as our neighbors to the north have for their children.

I point these things out because I want parents to realize that Clark County pays Washoe County’s bills by contributing the majority of tax revenue funding education in the state. Washoe gets to pay their teachers more, have more programs for students, and has a smaller population of at-risk students. This is where parents need to speak out about keeping Clark County $$$ in our community.

Today’s post by the district demonstrates how out of touch our programs are with working families. Not a single mention of the price. Last year’s price was $325 a month plus a $100 deposit when you came to register your student. 

If your child attends special education kindergarten there is no full day program. An oversight toward a population of students who need full day services.

There is NO first come guarantee.

Another way our district is out of touch with working families!

Should enrollment exceed capacity, ALL names will go to a lottery and you will be notified of your placement on May 20th.  A non refundable $100 cashier’s check or money order will be collected at the time of registration.

Should a lottery be required a refund will be issued to those who are not accepted into the program.  Only complete registrations will be accepted. A wait list will be formed beginning May 2nd with those not selected in the lottery being at the top of the list.

Your child must be 5 years old on/or prior to September 30, 2011.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  All immunizations must be up-to-date.  Children may receive their “kindergarten shots” at 4 years of age.

  • Tuition will be $325.00 per month
  • $100.00 deposit due at time of registration (cashier’s check or money order)
  • $325.00 automatic monthly payment starting September 1st
  • Final $325.00 payment deducted April 1st.
  • Annual Cost $2,700.00

Zone Variances will be available beginning May 2nd and considered only if there is room available in the program.  Please bear in mind that Zone Variances need to be approved by both the requested and zoned school.

Items needed for registration:

  • Original Birth Certificate
  • Current Immunization Record – must be up-to-date (Including kindergarten immunizations)
  • Parent ID
  • Proof of Address (water, power, gas – rent or sale agreement w/bill to follow up)

Youth Writing Workshop May 5th

Youth Writing Workshop – Just for Teens

5/5/2012 • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

West Las Vegas Library

Room: Conference Room-A/B

Join us as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.-Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter hosts a Youth Writing Workshop open to Clark County high school students, ages 14 – 18, who are interested in developing their creative writing skills, particularly their short story writing skills.
Workshop facilitator and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. member Mignon M. Brown, author of the book Unfinished Business, will share with students the fine art of short story writing, focusing on the elements of a short story; theme, character development, and action.
Students will also present one of their own short stories. The stories will be ranked and prizes will be awarded to the first and second ranked submissions and each attendee will receive a Certificate of Participation.
For more information, please call the West Las Vegas Library at 507-3989. Because space is limited, participants should pre-register for the workshop and submit a short story or poem as part of the pre-registration process. To pre-register contact Dannette Y. Mitchell,DST-Chair, Arts & Letters Committee at website:

Higher Education Fair for 8-12th Grade Students March 17th

High School Students Invited To Higher Education Information Fair And Workshops March 17

Representatives Of Colleges, Universities, Military And Trade Schools Will Be On Hand At Doolittle Community Center

Las Vegas students in eighth through 12th grades and their parents or guardians are invited to Doolittle Community Center Saturday, March 17, for the free Higher Education Information Fair & Workshops. Representatives from regional colleges, universities, military and trade schools will be available to discuss preparing middle- and high-school students for the future. From 9 a.m. to noon, participants will be offered 45-minute workshops on these topics:

  • Testing & Admissions;
  • Financial Aid;
  • Academic Advising; and
  • College Life.

Light refreshments will be provided. Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. at the center March 17. Advance registration is requested, but walk-ins will be welcomed until the event is full. To register in advance, download the registration form. Submit the completed registration form by March 14 via fax at (702) 646-4137, by e-mail to, or by mail/in person at the Doolittle Community Center, located at 1950 N. J St., Las Vegas, NV 89106. For more information, call (702) 229-6374. The event is sponsored by the city of Las Vegas and Batteries Included, a youth development program. For more information on Batteries Included, go online to the program’s Web page or call the city of Las Vegas Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department at (702) 229-2330.

Earth Day Art Contest for 6th – 12th Grade Las Vegas Students

All local sixth through 12th grade students are invited to submit artwork that celebrates Earth Day and the RTC’s quicker, cleaner and greener sustainability initiative with images of transit, carpooling, bicycling and walking. The artwork of the top two winners will be featured on the outside of an RTC transit vehicle for up to one year. Artwork must be unique, colorful and submitted in a horizontal format on 11” x 17” paper.  Entries in black and white or using photography or glitter will not be accepted. Markers, colored pencils and paint are acceptable media.

The deadline for entry is Wednesday, March 14 at 5 p.m.

Full entry details for contests can be found at more information, contact Aileen Pastor at or   (702) 676-1735 .

Graduating High School Seniors Could Win a Laptop from RTC

Article courtesy of the RTC.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is again partnering with Coca-Cola to sponsor an essay contest for local high school seniors who are graduating in 2012 on how they can reduce their carbon footprint by using the services offered by the RTC. The writers of the winning essays will each receive a new laptop computer.

All Clark County high school seniors graduating in 2012 are encouraged to participate. All essays must be a minimum of 500 words, double-spaced and they must be computer generated or handwritten by the student. Each essay will be judged equally on its content and the quality of the writing. Finally, all essays must include the student’s name, teacher’s name, school name and age.

All entries must be received by Thursday, March 8. They can be sent through Clark County School District mail to Judy Myers at School-Community Partnership Program #0145, through the U.S. Postal Service to Judy Myers at School-Community Partnership Program at 4212 Eucalyptus Ave., Annex, Building 8, Las Vegas, NV 89121 or via email to

Full entry details can be found at For more information, contact Aileen Pastor or   702-676-1735 .

The laptops will be awarded to the winning students in person at the RTC’s Board meeting on Thursday, April 12.

CCSD Students Invited to Participate in Stormwater Poster Contest

The Conservation District of Southern Nevada (CDSN) is proud to present the Fifth Annual Stormwater Pollution Poster Contest.

Fourth and fifth grade students from Clark County are invited to participate in creating a poster explaining “How you can prevent stormwater pollution.”  Entries must be received by March 9, 2012.

An additional resource for the contest is the stormwater workbook, Down the Drain Stormwater & You, which includes puzzles and games on stormwater quality. Contest prizes include a field trip to the Las Vegas Wash and a classroom experience with the educators from Shark Reef Aquarium. Support for the contest comes from Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, the Stormwater Quality Management Committee, Shark Reef Aquarium and the Clark County School District. For contest questions contact Jennifer Clifford

CDSN is a sub-division of Nevada State government dedicated to environmental sustainability in Clark County, Nevada.

Their mission is to promote natural resource conservation, preservation and sustainability through education, facilitation and public and private partnerships to benefit the citizens of Clark County.

CDSN is administered by a Board of seven volunteer supervisors; five elected, one appointed to represent the incorporated cities of Clark County and one appointed to represent Clark County.

For every dollar donated to CDSN approximately $10 are provided back to the community for environmental conservation.

For more information, visit the Conservation District of Southern Nevada website at

The Mojave Max Emergence Contest is Back for 2012!

2012 Mojave Max Emergence Contest Is Here!


The Mojave Max Emergence Contest is now open to Clark County School District students.

Each year students take part in the contest, affording them an opportunity to learn about the Mojave Desert which includes Clark County (Southern Nevada), parts of California, Arizona and Utah.

“This is an awesome learning tool for kids,” said County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani who helped kick off the program at John S. Parks Elementary School on Jan. 27.

“It’s visual, it’s engaging and it instills a sense of pride, understanding and respect for our County,” Commissioner Giunchigliani said. “By teaching children about the Mojave Desert, the desert tortoise and other species, you teach them why it is important to care about the environment and you also encourage them to think about jobs in that field too.”

Through the competition, kids participate in a program where they learn about the desert tortoise and other creatures. Additionally, youth learn about the weather, plant life, and seasonal changes. Once they are armed with these lessons, they are charged with using the knowledge to predict when Mojave Max (the desert tortoise) will emerge from his winter slumber, known scientifically as reptilian brumation.

The student who picks the date closest to when the tortoise actually pokes his head out, marking the onset of spring, wins the contest. The student and his classmates enjoy a party, a field trip to the Red Rock Conservation Area and more!

To learn more about the contest, visit


Workforce Leadership Summit and Job Fair for Students Ages 16-23 on April 13th

Latino Townhall & College of Southern Nevada will present the 2012 Workforce Leadership Summit & Job Fair for youth ages 16 to 23 on Friday, April 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, April 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the College of Southern Nevada at the Charleston Campus, Building K. Latino Townhall currently is seeking 100 high school students ages 16 to 18 and 100 college students ages 19 to 23, to attend the free event.  Students MUST register by filling out the form available online and sending it to the address on the form by March 15.  Seating is limited.

The intent and purpose is to prepare youth for workforce readiness.  Students will have access to many Job Fair booths with a potential for hire. Topics to be covered are:

  • S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting
  • Cover letter writing
  • Resume building
  • Best Job Interview Practices
  • Dress for Success
  • Building Social (Capital) Networks!

For more information, call             (702) 287-1859       or e-mail

PEP Training Sessions for January 2012

Start off the New Year with a renewed commitment to helping your child have the best education ever!

If you have a child on an IEP in Clark County Public Schools these classes are a must!

Click Here to Register for FREE CLASSES 


Is Your Child a Target of Bullying? 

Getting and Keeping the First Job – For older teens and their parents

Families are Important – Class for all families with a child who has developmental disabilities

How is My Child Reading? – Class about how children learn to read and write with suggestions for parents.

IDEA 5 Part Training Series  Program contains the following information:

  • Part 1 – Starting the Process to Obtain Help for a Child
  • Part 2 – Writing Individualized Education Programs
  • Part 3 – Learning about Rights & Procedural Safeguards
  • Part 4 – Behavior and Discipline in School
  • Part 5  – Getting Ready for Change

IEP Clinics 

Journey to Adulthood 

Navigating Through Transition 

Positive Behavior Interventions 

Skills for Effective Parent Advocacy 

Understanding ADHD 

You Can Do it! 

Support Groups 



Call and Get on the Schedule to Speak AGAINST Laying Off Teachers Before Christmas!

Make this call – RIGHT NOW -

Call 799-1072 and ask to be placed on the public speaker list under the Employee Labor Relations agenda item

No other group in our community is fighting harder for our kids than our teachers. Nevada is a hard place to be a teacher which means as parents we need to step up even more.

While media pundits attack our teachers they can’t fight back because they are in the classroom WITH OUR CHILDREN! This situation was foreseeable as shown in this message from August. 

The greatest gift we give teachers this season is our respect and a pledge that we will not stay silent in this fight!

It is time to stand up for the hardest working teachers in America right here in Las Vegas!

Teachers will use their collective voices to send a loud message to the School Board of Trustees at the Thursday, December 8th meeting, demanding that CCSD put every resource needed in the classroom in order for students to succeed.

This is what our local teachers union wants parents to know:

Invest in Education.

A key to student success is more resources in the classroom.

  How is CCSD going to deliver on a quality education for Clark County’s students when it is contemplating a reduction in force as a way to balance its budget?  If CCSD follows through with the layoffs, thousands of students will be shortchanged.  Larger class sizes will make it more difficult for children to receive the individualized learning that delivers student achievement and success.

Join the fight.  You are in the trenches working hard to provide your students with the best educational experience.  Let’s share with the Trustees the components necessary for a successful teaching & learning environment.

Key components:

· Invest in education:

o   Put resources back into the classroom

o   Create a positive learning environment

o   Embrace experience and new ideas that foster collaboration

· Invest in educators:

o   Provide adequate time to fulfill job expectations

o   Improve school climate & working conditions

o   Respect veteran teachers & those new to the profession

PARENTS: Our teachers NEED US at this Meeting! 

CCSD School Board Meeting   How to speak and Where to Go

December 8th – 4pm – Edward A. Greer Education Center, 2832 East Flamingo Road

This week principals were told to tell their teachers  –  either 700 teachers would be laid off at Christmastime OR the salary increase given to teachers in September would need to be returned.

This is UNFAIR! Teachers have always been willing to deal. The district needs to be willing to come to the table with a fair negotiation.

Teachers would like a deal similar to the one given to administrators this summer – 2% cost of living increase cut. It is not fair to ask teachers to pay MORE – up to 15% cuts in pay and benefits.

If you are not able to attend the school board meeting – please write your school board trustee and tell them . . . TEACHERS WANT A DEAL!

Please stop blaming teachers for this mismanagement!

Call 799-1072 and ask to be placed on the public speaker list under the Employee Labor Relations agenda item

Please stop telling the media teachers don’t like kids!

Tweeting at hashtags: #nved #ccsd #nvteach

– If you wish to address the School Board of Trustees:

Please keep in mind that public speaking (often times) takes place between 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., but as early as 6:30 p.m.

· Call 799-1072 and ask to be placed on the public speaker list under the Employee Labor Relations agenda item.

· Prepare a 3-minute speech/statement, but plan on reducing it to 2 minutes or less if there are many speakers present.

· When addressing the Trustees, please help us deliver this message:  Invest in Education — A key to student success is more resources in the classroom.

· As you prepare your remarks, please share with the Trustees the many challenges you are currently facing in delivering a quality education to the students you teach.  Let them know how these challenges will get further exacerbated if the resources continue to get cut.

· Wear RED in support of education and educators.

@LVMPD Las Vegas Metro Police Host Child Safety Day December 10th

Las Vegas Metro Police Host a free child safety fair this weekend.

This is a great opportunity to learn about resources available to families in our community to keep our kids safe!

10:00 am to 1:00 PM

Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall

3150 Paradise Road – South of Desert Inn < Click to get directions

Las Vegas’ First Annual “It Gets Better” Rally Against Bullying

Next Tuesday come down to support the first ever It Gets Better Anti Bullying Rally in Las Vegas! This event is open to all students middle school age and older to learn about the devastating consequences of bullying and that most of all – it gets better!

When: Tuesday, November 15th, 6 PM

What: “It Gets Better/Anti-Bullying Rally”Featuring:·

Live theatre performance on the devastating consequences of bullying by the Toe Tag Monologues by high school students from Las Vegas.

Presentation by prominent gay rights activist Cleve Jones of Unite HERE!·

Poetry reading by Latino activist and poet Juan Carlos Espinoza Cuellar·

Live music by Las Vegas reggae band “Oneness Vibe”

Guest of Honor: Dina Titus

Where: The Arts Factory 107 East Charleston Boulevard Las Vegas

Link to Map

Odyssey Charter School Open House September 7 and 20 Las Vegas

Learn more about this charter school at  this school is still accepting enrollment for the 2011-2012 school year. This program is done primarily at home online with visits from the teacher.

Special education students are welcome!

Seriously Cute! My Kids are Hooked on the Penguins LIVE

I downloaded this free app on my phone and my kids are hooked. My son has named all of the penguins and as I type this he is sitting on my lap giving me all the details about how the habitat is cleaned.

Great fun!

Now he wants our next family vacation to be to visit “his”pocket penguins! I would not mind a trip to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

Check out the penguin blog with links to download the phone app for iphone or android. You can view the habitat from your desktop.

Stop by at 10:30 and 3:00 to watch the feeding times!

California Academy of Science Penguin Blog 

Apply Now for $1,000 Neighborhood Grants – School Programs May Apply!

Go out and get this grant Las Vegas schools!

My suggestions for the grant application process.

1.) Let your representative city council person know you NEED this grant. Most on the council these days will work with a school and their staff may be able to offer additional input such as reviewing your application before you turn it in. Plus if you need to find out who the assigned neighborhood association is that your school is supposed to work with your city council representative can put you in touch with them. I also know of instances where city council representatives have written letters on behalf of schools to say that there is no neighborhood association for the school so that it can be attached to the application so the effort is not penalized for the lack of established community engagement.

2.) Develop an interest list for project labor. The project must match dollars spent with volunteer labor. I usually place volunteer labor at a value of $10 per hour. Be able to demonstrate that you have enough support for 100 hours of labor. Some projects get declined because the grant readers don’t believe a community could get that many volunteers at one time.

3.) Have a very clear goal and vision. EVERY school in our community could use an extra $1000. How does your project match with the goal of children improving their community.

4.) Proof read your application. I have worked as a community volunteer to review grants and sadly sometimes the grants come in and you can’t understand what the applicant really wants to do.

I wish you the best and hope to see great projects happening in our schools with these funds!

Grant Monies Available For Youth To Better Their Communities

City Accepting Applications For YNAPP Grants Through Oct. 25

The city of Las Vegas is currently accepting grant applications for youth looking to help improve their communities. As part of the Youth Neighborhood Association Partnership Program (YNAPP), the city is offering grants of up to $1,000 for young people to create and implement neighborhood-based service learning projects of their own design.

Schools, school classes, churches, community and civic groups that are youth driven are encouraged to apply.

Applications will be accepted through Oct. 10, by visiting

YNAPP is designed to use the gifts and talents of young people while helping them grow into community leaders. The program challenges youth to take stock of their community, identify a community need or issue, and then develop a project to address that need, with the assistance of YNAPP funding provided by the city of Las Vegas.

Projects have ranged from neighborhood tutoring projects, to care packages for the homeless, to music CDs and plays discussing youth issues, and beautification projects.

Grants are available for projects that are developed and implemented by youth with adults serving as advisors, address a neighborhood need, occur within Las Vegas city limits, match grant funds with volunteer labor and partner with a neighborhood association located in city limits. Donations of materials and in-kind services are also permitted. City staff can assist with locating a nearby neighborhood association.

For more information regarding the grant programs and how to obtain grant applications, please contact YNAPP Coordinator Lisa Campbell at (702) 229-5406 or email her at


Field Trip Grants up to $700 for Local Schools – ACT NOW September 30 Deadline!

I know this does not cover the full cost of a field trip but this money could make a HUGE difference to classroom as to if they get to participate.

Think Outside the Classroom Grants

As with any grant application keep it simple. Help your classroom teacher by doing the application and gathering the basic information.

Things such as bus costs change drastically each year. If your district gives a base allotment for educational transportation per classroom (I don’t believe CCSD does this in the 2011-2012 budget) do not include bus transportation in the budget and instead focus on admission.

When you obtain admission prices make sure to ask for the classroom field trip rate and for the number of chaperons the  venue requires per group of students in your class age group.

Go online, create an account and get the application with the information you will need to submit to Target. These grants can take MONTHS to process. Start now for a spring class field trip.

You will also need to fully document all of the expenses and submit back to Target the completed workbook of when the trip was taken and how the money was spent. Sounds to me like an opportunity to get one of those coveted chaperon seats!

Act now- the deadline is September 30th!

Field Trip programs taking place between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012, notifications will be send by January 1, 2012.

This is shown on the FAQ page. 

Link to Register and Apply for Field Trip Grants

Field trip locations can check out this program which offers links to encourage groups to apply for grants to visit their location. I would love to see more small local locations such as Gilcrease Nature Sancturary, Tule Springs, and the libraries benefit from these grants.

Congratulations to the local Las Vegas Schools who Received this Grant Last Year!

  • Arbor View High School
  • Bonanza High School
  • Carl Elementary School
  • Carroll Johnston Middle School
  • Charles I. West Middle School
  • Clyde Cox Elementary School
  • Coral Academy of Science
  • Daniel Goldfarb Elementary School
  • Elbert Edwards Elementary School
  • Herbert A Derfelt Elementary School
  • Horizon High School West
  • Hyde Park Middle School
  • James E Cashman Middle School
  • James H. Bilbray Elementary School
  • John R Beatty Elementary School
  • Johnson Junior High School
  • Lawrence Middle School
  • Leavitt Middle School
  • Mabel Hoggard Elementary School
  • Manuel Cortez Elementary School
  • Northwest Career Tech Academy
  • Patricia Bendorf Elementary School
  • Piggott Elementary School
  • Ralph Cadwallader Middle School
  • Rhodes Elementary School
  • Robert E. Lake Elementary School
  • Roberta Cartwright Elementary
  • Roger Gehring Elementary School
  • Ronzone Elementary School
  • Silverado High School
  • Southern Nevada Vocational-Technical Center
  • Thomas Elementary School
  • Thomas Oroarke Elementary School
  • Ullom Elementary School
  • Veterans Tribute Career & Technical Academy High School
  • Wendell Williams Elementary School
  • William E. Ferro Elementary School