For nine years, Las Vegas West Rotary has partnered with Twin Lakes Elementary School through the Focus School Project. During this time, LV West Rotary has worked tirelessly to meet the needs of our students, staff and community. Twin Lakes is located in a lower socio-economic area where over 75 percent of its English language speaking population is considered in poverty.
Students and their parents face many hardships associated with poverty and depend highly on the school for support in meeting some very basic needs. The Las Vegas West Rotary has always been there for the students – from winter coats for students that otherwise would have to go without; shoes through the Happy Feet program; grants for teachers to implement new programs in their classrooms; and monetary gifts which have allowed the school to purchase much needed equipment.
They are always on hand to help with anything the school needs. One of the most important contributions has been the human resources to provide quality time for many of our students. Every year, volunteers from the LV West Rotary come for an hour a week to read with students on a one to one basis.
With many of our students and parents being second language learners, it is difficult for them to read at home to an adult that can help with pronunciation and comprehension. The reading mentors are always here to help close the literacy gap for students. While working with the mentors, the students also learn to socially relate to others in a positive and respectful way.
The difference for many of these students becomes apparent to teachers and parents as the students’ reading skills increase more rapidly from the extra practice. Most of the readers return year after year, and students always ask about the person they read with, having formed a positive relationship of trust and acceptance. The LV West Rotary is a true asset to the school, the community, and the Clark County School District.