This program brought to you in part by the Erika Lewis Endowment Fund.
♪♪♪ CCSD is the fifth largest school district in the nation, with student success as its number one goal.
Join us as we meet student go-getters and goal setters and discover their skills, talents, and drive.
Plus meet the incredible staff who are helping students shine.
It's all here in Student Spotlight.
-Hi, everyone, and thank you so much for joining us for Student Spotlight .
I'm Maria Silva.
We have a lot to share with you in the next half hour.
Reading is the foundation of a great education.
Our superintendent talks with kids about why they love to read during Nevada Reading Week.
Plus... a big change for more athletic fields on CCSD school campuses: What students are saying about this switch to artificial turf.
Then... the Vegas PBS Media Crew fills us in on what school and local libraries have to offer.
And... building self-esteem and a sense of connection: Why "Girls on the Run" is so much more than just running.
But first... a hands-on lesson in civics and government: Meet some local high school students who competed in the statewide "We the People" invitational.
(Sarah Hatch) It only takes around 2% of the population to prevent an amendment from passing.
(Joseph Juliano) Why is the citizen in the Constitution something that people should understand?
-There's so much apathy, so much like, a lack of young voters because people feel like they don't matter.
But when participating, We the People, we learn that we do matter and that we can advocate for ourselves.
(Brian Le) I guess the reason why I joined We the People was because I felt that within like, our grade schools, the education that we were getting about our own government wasn't really satisfactory with what I believed in.
And so I joined We the People to get a further extensive knowledge on our government and as well as civics education.
-We the People does a mock congressional hearing.
So what the students are doing is preparing for a congressional hearing where they're the expert.
So they prepare written testimony, and I really take them through a process of editing that and making sure it's fine-tuned.
The other part is the cross-examination where they have to prepare for the questions that are going to be asked of them in that kind of Q&A session.
(Kathleen Dickinson) We the People has been in Nevada since 1987.
It is a wonderful program for providing communication skills, interview skills, research skills, writing, literacy, and the importance of our government.
[in unison] Joe!
[cheering] -A lot of our university professors tell us that students who participate in We the People actually do better in college and life than students that do not participate in We the People.
-We just competed in the State Invitational for We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution.
We ended up placing fourth overall, and we were the top placed team for Las Vegas.
Now that We the People is complete, we went through two competitions.
Was it what you were expecting?
Did you get-- Like, what did you get out of it compared to what you were expecting?
(Manmeet Kaur) We the People has allowed me to collaborate with my peers and gain more knowledge and allow me to be more knowledgeable.
(Vassily Tan) It definitely gave us, gave me a more holistic experience on what we can do to fix our government as well as like, what needs to be done in order for us to fix our current institutions today.
-Everyone in this room is the next generation of, you know, of leaders in this country, right?
And that gives us adults a lot of hope.
-The event is sponsored by the Nevada Center for Civic Engagement.
2023 was We the People's 35th year in Nevada.
Students from Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy also competed in the We the People invitational.
Such smart students.
Let's head to their school next for our first "News Break."
I'm Carmine from Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy.
I'm Sofia, and we are here at my school's courtroom.
And we've got your first "News Break."
-Did you know CCSD has the first electric school bus in Nevada?
It was unveiled earlier this year and was purchased using grant money from the NV Energy and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.
The new electric bus will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including an estimated one ton of nitrogen oxide over its lifetime.
The goal is to replace four more diesel-powered school buses from CCSD's fleet with electric buses in the next coming years.
-Speaking of buses, we learned that CCSD has the largest owned and operated school bus fleet in the nation.
The District has 1,924 buses that covers over 1,500 routes and transports more than 125,000 students daily.
-And before we go, a shout-out to the award-winning magnet programs.
Twenty-nine magnet programs in the Clark County School District just earned national recognition from the Magnet Schools of America.
Four schools earned the top award called the "Top Magnet School of Excellence Award."
They are: Del Sol Academy of Performing Arts, Desert Pines High School, James Cashman Middle School, and Gehring Elementary School Academy of Science and Technology.
By the way, our school has received national recognition as well.
-You'll learn more about our school in the next "News Break."
But for now, back to Maria.
-Thank you so much, Carmine and Sophia.
Well, Nevada Reading Week falls on the last week of February.
It is a time when many schools invite local leaders to visit, also to share their love of reading.
We caught up with Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara on one of his many campus visits that week.
(Messina Walters) So today was a really special day to celebrate Nevada Reading Week.
We had Superintendent Jara visit our school.
(Mackenzie Massy) Dr. Jara was reading a book to the first graders.
(Dr. Jesus Jara) It's called, The Day That You Begin .
(Student) I got that book at home.
-You have this book at home?
Well, then I picked the good book.
(Sue Duffy) We've been inviting all sorts of different people throughout the District, different storytellers, to really share that diversity.
They feel valued and important that these people are willing to take their time out to come talk to them and to show them that reading just doesn't happen in school.
It's not just a subject; it's something that you take with you for the rest of your life and love.
(Zackrie Aggabao) I'm very grateful because it's cool to hear all these people read all these cool books.
-"My name is Rigoberto.
We just moved here from Venezuela."
Can I tell you something?
I'm from Venezuela.
(Messina Walters) I think it's really important for leaders like that to come in and share their love of reading and their stories and their backgrounds.
-So have you always liked to read?
(Ruby Jackson)I've always liked to read.
-So what was it?
Was it a teacher in school that helped you at the beginning or your parents said, You have to read.
How did you build that habit?
-It was more my parents.
Because ever since I was little, my mom always told me once I can read, the world as yours.
Reading is amazing, and it could be your own little world where you can just escape.
And reading is really good for yourself.
(Bradley Vicencio) In order to like, learn things, you have to read books.
Like for example, nonfiction books.
They can help you learn about, say the jungle.
(Rayshawnn Plath) I'm Rayshawnn.
I'm reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
I don't have a favorite book.
I've read so many, I can't decide.
-You find something you really like, and then you just can't put it down, right?
- My favorite subject is science.
In order to do science, you have to understand reading because reading is a part of everything.
-Read books that you want to read, and read books that you can read.
And sometimes you have to read books that you can't read so you can get better and better.
-Reading is important because it opens students' imaginations, and they're able to kind of escape their world and go to different worlds, meet new people, and new places.
[applause] -And what a great visit that was.
And such smart students.
Can't say that enough.
Well, this year's theme for Nevada Reading Week was One World, Many Stories.
Now let's toss it over to Joseph from the Vegas PBS Media Crew, a crew of former and current CCSD students who produce special content for teens.
Nevada Reading Week brings many students to their school libraries, but libraries are an incredible resource year round.
Adam and I went to Las Vegas Academy to learn more about what CCSD school libraries have to offer.
My name is Isabel.
I'm Mandy Cohen.
My name is Quinton Krull.
-My name is Blaise Boswell -Shelby Gwinn.
I am the librarian at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts.
-Would you say that your library functions different than other libraries at schools?
-I strive-- I have a different focus than maybe most libraries because we're an art school.
So I strive to provide a lot more art resources than maybe they would find somewhere else.
-What do you use here to influence your academic goals or your personal goals or anything like that?
-Well, he has specific books for every major, including dance.
-Just recently I've gotten a monologue to Pygmalion for my audition to getting into... which was really awesome to have it right here instead of having to buy it off of Amazon.
-We have like, a Google form in the band program that we're able to fill out to buy scores.
-There's plays available for theater majors.
There's music books and technique books available for those playing any instruments.
Any major has something here that's really important and helpful for them.
-Like, I just checked out a score today for Star Wars .
Oh, that's dope!
-Well, I feel like if you think of the stereotypes, a lot of people think of the sound, the "shh."
But if you see, we're here during lunch, and you can hear people socializing, and people are getting schoolwork done, people are talking.
-When they do free-reading, they love books.
They love to hold it in their hands.
But when they're doing research, which is so much of what our job is for, to support their research, they want to go online.
And so I built a website for them that I think is second to none.
-The main reason it's so fantastic is the librarian.
He cares so much about every student, makes sure everyone feels included and safe here.
-He's super positive and just fun to be around.
-Mr. Gwinn participates in all of the spirit dress-up days.
He forms just like close friendships and like actually interacts with the students.
And it makes the library seem like, I guess, a less scary place to some people.
-The administration is buying in, really supporting what we're doing here, so the kids have what they need.
-School libraries aren't the only library students can tap into.
We found a zone especially for teens at a local public library.
-Hi, my name is EJ with the Vegas PBS Media Crew, and we're here to check out the Best Buy Teen Tech Center at the Clark County Library.
-Look how glorious it is.
-I know, right?
[laughter] (Megan Nykodym) I am the Teen Services department head.
I also run the Best Buy Teen Tech Center.
I am the coordinator for this amazing tech space.
The space, essentially what it does is it dives into a person's passions, and it allows us to engage them and teach technology in a new skill set based on what they're passionate about.
You know, it is different.
I know that we are still part of the educational realm, but we are different from school.
We don't have assignments.
We don't have tests.
We don't have attendance.
We don't have grading.
They tell us what they want to learn.
(Rocky) I mean, there are just so many facilities here that you can realize after school.
It's just like, a great opportunity.
(Liliana) They have a whole like, recording studio.
They have instruments you can play and practice with.
They have really nice computers you can work on like, schoolwork... and like research.
They also provide robotics and such.
It's like you can build robots.
-It's just a nice environment to either get work done or to, you know, enhance your skills.
-What impact has this had on you?
(Noah) It's had a very big impact because like, ever since I've been coming here, it's given me something to do.
It's like, made me learn a lot more, made me want to think about what I want to do in my future career.
I've been debating on going to college.
And if I do go, it'll be for graphic designer.
-I definitely recommend people come down here and learning some stuff so they know what they want to do.
-What's your favorite part about playing a role in all this?
-It's the light bulb moment, where we'll get a teen that comes in and, you know, they're not-- they don't want to do this, and they don't want to do that.
But it's finally finding that piece, that spark, that they're like, Oh, I love 3d printing.
And then all of a sudden, that becomes their thing.
-And that's my favorite part of the job is being able to chisel away and finding out what makes them passionate and getting it going.
-Thank you to all the members and mentors that have helped out with this segment.
My name is EJ, and this has been "In Our Opinion."
Before we send it back to Maria, some breaking news: Our Vegas PBS Media Crew is growing.
We want to introduce you to members of our brand new Satellite Media Crew, featuring students from seven different high schools in the Clark County School District.
They'll be helping us with reports and will bring you stories and segments featuring more teen voices.
Welcome aboard everyone!
We can't wait to get started.
We'll be back at the end of the show with our segment "In Our Opinion" to talk more about work-based learning.
But for now, we'll send it back to Maria.
-Thank you so much, Joseph.
Well, conserving water is vital to Southern Nevada's future, as years of drought has depleted our most valuable water source, the Colorado River.
We went to Centennial High School to see how the Clark County School District is doing its part.
(Mark Campbell) Our two highest uses of water at the School District and in the Clark County area at large are for irrigation and for cooling systems.
On the fields, we've been focused on replacing fields, like football fields, and looking at our sporting fields to reduce water consumption, also fuel consumption and chemical consumption to maintain those.
(Sean Kirby) So the benefits with getting a turf outfield put in is mostly just saving water and the safety of our players.
There's been a bunch of issues with gophers and pits in the outfield, which is really dangerous to our athletes.
(Chanel Cave) We had even ACL tears during practices.
So having the opportunity to go on this field or even other schools that have had turf, you don't see injuries as much, and you just have smoother games.
(Victor Potnikov) I see that, you know, global warming and stuff like, that is a really big issue.
And one of those things that I hope to do is, you know, help save the earth.
And one of the many things that we can do is preserve the water that we currently use.
That's why it feels like this turf is very helpful for the environment, and that's why I support stuff like this.
-So what's your role at CCSD?
And what do you do?
-I lead a team of individuals in our Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental Services Department.
And we're focused on really helping CCSD deliver its educational mission with a comfortable, safe, healthy environment.
-So all the benefits of artificial turf, how much water have you saved so far?
And how much are you looking to save in the future?
-Yeah, so we've done 29 high school football fields, including the one behind us.
And as we work with the Water Authority on a per square foot basis, we're looking to save about 55 gallons of water per square foot per year.
With a football field like this being about 90,000 square foot a year, so we're looking at, you know, tens of millions of gallons across every single field.
-So in what ways is CCSD working to be eco friendly today?
-Well, that's a good question.
We're working in several different ways.
So some of the areas that we're looking at are lighting projects to reduce lighting energy usage while upgrading the experience in the classroom.
We're looking at water projects, looking at replacing turf on sporting fields, as well as replacing turf around the schools that is not used for anything other than looking at.
So we call that nonplay or nonfunctional turf.
We're looking to replace that with desert landscaping, reduce water consumption, reduce maintenance costs, things like that.
And then other areas, we're looking at are renewable energy.
All new school designs are incorporating solar in the future.
-Well, there are plans to replace all of CCSD's 35 football fields with artificial turf.
This effort alone, listen to this, could save an estimated 500 million gallons of water each year.
Well, now let's head back to Veterans Tribute CTA for our second "New Break."
I'm Jasmine from Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy.
-And I'm Tristan.
We're back with your second "News Break."
-The motto at our school is: Preparing Everyday Heroes.
Our focus is to prepare students for careers in public service.
Our programs include Emergency Medical Services, 911 Dispatching, Forensic Science, Cybersecurity, Criminal Justice, and Law Enforcement.
Students can get hands-on experience to learn what each of these careers entail.
-We're also proud of our graduation rate, a perfect 100% since 2013.
Not only are our students graduating, but they are getting jobs in the career fields we prepared them for.
We have dispatchers, lawyers, paramedics, forensic scientists, detectives, and more, making the Las Vegas community the best it can be.
-We are also proud of the over 160,000 hours of time our students have given back to our community through their volunteer efforts since our inception in 2009.
-Do you want to learn how to take 911 calls?
Do you want to learn how to fly a drone?
Do you want to make the community we live in the best it can be?
Consider being a part of the family, where we really do prepare everyday heroes.
-Thank you for visiting our school.
And now we'll send you back to the Vegas PBS studio and Maria.
-Thank you so much, Jasmine.
Well, girls at elementary schools around the valley are training for an upcoming 5k run.
But the program isn't just about exercise.
As we learned, the nonprofit "Girls on the Run" also helps local students build confidence, kindness, and decision making skills.
(Ysabella) "Girls on the Run" is a program to show yourself confidence for yourself.
-After school at Griffith Elementary, a group of girls run.
(Paulina) I want to run because I want to have more excitement and like, feel more confident in myself while I'm running.
-This is one of many Girls on the Run programs and elementary schools across the valley.
-Most of our workouts are based on like, expressing your feelings and, you know, just to learn and stuff.
-For students in the third, fourth, and fifth grades.
(Dana Griffo) I think they're building connections with each other, which is one thing.
And they're showing like, how to really persevere, how to push through, and learning that there are different ways to handle your stress, your anxiety, those uncomfortable emotions that they're dealing with because they're at such a pivotal age.
A lot of them are transitioning into middle school next year, so they're learning all of these life lessons right before they have to transition.
-The girls are preparing for an upcoming 5k, a distance that right now may seem daunting.
(Aitana) I know right after I finish it, I'll feel like all my hard work paid off.
And all those months of Girls on the Run will be exciting to finish it, and I'll be proud of myself.
-But they will accomplish it with a partner.
(Siimba Smith) So they're paired with an adult.
More or less, it's more for motivation and inspiration, but it's so funny because she was motivating me more than I was her.
You don't really think about how long a 5k is until you get there and is doing it.
But it's so wonderful just to have the motivation on both sides.
-The entire program is designed to build self esteem... -It helped me because the girls and like, the coaches on Girls on the Run, they really helped me to show, to the show people who I really am.
- ...and confidence... -It makes me feel good about myself because they make me feel positive.
- ...and create friendships on the field.
-Being part of it means just being part of a community that you could just be yourself, have fun...all while running.
-I love it.
It's the best.
It's a good feeling to see them really, like happy for themselves and feeling all that pride.
-And most importantly, having fun.
[in unison] Girls on the Run is so much fun!
-And that big 5k event is set for May 13.
We wish them the very best of luck.
And to learn more about the Las Vegas chapter of Girls on the Run, visit girlsontherunlv.org.
A wonderful organization.
Well, that does it for this edition of Student Spotlight .
A reminder that you at home can watch this episode and past episodes on the Vegas PBS website.
Stay tuned for "In Our Opinion" from the Vegas PBS Media Group.
Thanks so much for watching.
[shutter sound] ♪♪♪ -Hi.
And welcome back to "In Our Opinion."
In today's episode, we went to Southeast Career and Technical Academy to venture through their school and see how they demonstrate work-based learning.
Let's take a look.
(Isabelle Sanchez Ager) What we focus on, and we hyperfocus on is the idea of taking our kids and making sure that they have a versatile amount of options after they leave here.
The idea is not to just prepare them for higher education or employability, it's for both.
Everyone who goes to college still has to have a job, and having a pathway in college isn't for everyone.
So if we can take on that very large responsibility and do something with it here before they leave us, then we've done our job.
-We sat down with students from the Culinary, Cosmetology, and Graphic Design programs at the school and asked them how work-based learning has impacted their lives and their plans, both inside and outside of school.
(Katherine) Being in Cosmo has like, made my passion for Cosmo grow more.
Like before I use to like it, watching it.
And now that I'm doing it, I love it.
And I know that's what I want to do.
(Nikolas) Before coming to this school, I was pretty fascinated by graphic design.
And coming to this school has sort of been able to show me, like, what my life would be like if I were to pursue this career.
It kind of gave me a glimpse.
-Kind of solidified whether I wanted to actually put some time into this or not in college.
(Chris) I really do enjoy cooking and so going to this Culinary program has helped my passion and helped me actually learn what to do and how to do it correctly.
-How has this school affected your passion to work for what you want to do in the future?
(Aniya) Usually people think that when you come to this school, it's what you want to be when you grow up.
And at first, I did think that I was like, Oh, I'm going to be a chef.
I'm gonna be cooking it up.
But I don't want to be a chef when I'm older.
I want to go into the Hospitality program for college, which is very close to Culinary.
It pairs really well with it because it's management and, you know, preparing yourself and helping other people -You definitely have to deal with people.
-How has coming to the school affected your passion to work for what you want in the future?
(Natalie) Coming here has really showed me it takes a lot of maturity and a lot of responsibility.
I clock in four times: when I come in, go to lunch, and when I come back.
And even if there's days I don't want to wake up and go to school, it's not school anymore, it's a career.
You have to go in.
-Do you think that this education is necessary for your career path?
(Alejandra) For my future, I'm not going to primarily focus on graphic design.
I'm going to focus on psychology or neuroscience.
-So I wouldn't say it's necessary, but it is very nice to have because while maybe you don't want to end up doing what you want to do in your future, you still kind of have that skill.
-And I think that's really nice to have in your education, not just your core classes.
-How have you applied this learning outside of school?
-I have actually done a lot of culinary-based things outside of school.
Like this last October, I had the chance to cater my cousin's wedding.
So I catered for about 80 people.
-And how old are you?
You said 80 people.
-I love-- I mean, everything that I do outside of school, I cook for my family every night, I love doing it.
I love the entire premise of cooking.
I don't know.
It's school, work, cook.
-Do you think coming to this school gives you an advantage?
-I feel it does because some of the classes that I'm taking now have taught me a lot.
Right now we are studying workplace skills.
So that will definitely help me after high school to get a job and be organized.
-It puts you into the role already.
It's definitely giving me a advantage.
-Get the skills that I want.
-I already have a place that I can fall back on, to where I can get a job.
The accuracy you get here, it kind of helps you kind of like find other jobs that are not focused here, but you gain, again, that skill that you can do interviews.
You know what to say.
You have skills that you can use in future jobs.
-Coming to this school has made me more prepared than, I think than a lot of people who want to-- who just go to a regular high school.
It's not our life, but it is what we are focused on.
I am in the Culinary for 75% of my day.
-Because I came to the SECTA looking for a culinary experience, everything I've learned was very necessary for my career path.
-I absolutely think that it's given me an advantage, because I feel like these aren't skills you -- They're not hard skills; they're soft skills.
You have to go through it to be able to learn it.
You can't really learn these things in a classroom or have like, an elective.
This is like you're just living life.
You have a job.
-Thank you to all the students, teachers, and staff that helped us out on this episode.
Once again, I'm EJ with the Vegas PBS Media Crew.
And we'll see you next time.
[shutter sound] ♪♪♪