October 2020 WACUBO News

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Who Are We Helping?

Nestled within the UNLV campus, Paradise Professional Development School is a public elementary school that is home to 492 students in grades PreK to 5th.

About the StudentsStudents from Paradise PDS

All of the students receive free breakfast and lunch and come from high poverty homes. Paradise PDS is 49.9% transient with 100% of the students living in low income housing—an important factor that impacts the students’ schooling as many of the students will attend two or more schools per year.

On the surface, the FRL status presents itself through surface needs related to poverty such as food, clothing, and shelter supports. Beyond their basic survival needs, many of the students struggle with a variety of issues related to trauma that impact their daily lives. Within the Paradise community, many students are being raised by their grandparents or are living within multi-family households. Paradise PDS has seen an increase in the amount of Child Protective Services (CPS) reported cases, custody issues among parents, and aggressive parents coming to the school requiring police intervention. In addition, we have students struggling from trauma due to parent incarceration, death of a parent, and parent abandonment.

Paradise's Commitment

At Paradise PDS, all stakeholders believe that the students have greatness, and we are committed to ensuring that the students grow academically and behaviorally to meet the changing demands of the workforce and university setting. Paradise PDS is proud to be both a Leader in Me and a PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Supports) school. We strive to ensure the students are leaders in all that they say and do.

While the world outside of Paradise PDS offers many challenges to the students, the campus is a haven for the students. The Paradise PDS staff works very closely within grade levels and across grade levels to meet the students’ diverse learning needs. Students receive small group instruction in reading and math throughout the day. Second Language Learners and struggling readers attend the Zoom Reading Center where they receive additional reading intervention support. Learning Strategists coach grade level teachers and assist with lesson planning while also pulling students for small group support. Specialists in Art, Music, Library, and P.E. actively work with grade level teachers to see how they can incorporate reading skills into their instruction to support the College and Career Readiness Standards (the overarching goals). Classroom teachers come in to work as early as 6 a.m. to prepare for the day and stay late into the evening or come in on the weekends to prepare instructional materials.

In addition to the academic instruction that occurs in the classroom, Paradise PDS also offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities for the students to engage in after school. All these activities are led by Paradise PDS staff who donate their time because they care about the community. Students participate in choir, on the soccer team, in National Honor Society, dance, or in the Disney Musical production of The Lion King. Staff members also tutor struggling learners after school and come in on Saturdays in the spring to help prepare the students for the SBAC state assessment.

During her Ted Talk in May 2013, Rita Pierson, an educational advocate, shared “Every child deserves a champion: An adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists they become the best they can be.” There are over 300 schools in Las Vegas, and the Paradise PDS staff are committed to the students and school community. Teachers and support staff personnel drive by multiple schools on the way to work every day because they believe in the Paradise student leaders. We believe in the greatness of the students. While we recognize that we can’t control what happens outside of the time we are with the students at school, we are committed to ensuring that we maximize every moment we have with them beginning with building positive relationships to increasing student achievement. Thank you for supporting the students and school.

For more information, please contact Service Project lead Patricia Anderson at [email protected].

We are asking all members who can help to purchase items off the Amazon Wish List.

Make a Purchase Today!

Past Service Projects

Photo: Past service project, t-shirts Photo: Past service project, t-shirts 
Photo: service project with piles of t-shirts Photo: Group photo with t shirts on wall behind
Photo: Group holding check for $10,00 to elementary school Photo: Service project thermometer to measure donations at goal reached

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