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Boys Town Nevada Latin School Based Initiative

Many boys and girls in our community are on a fast track to failure. Breaking this cycle requires a collaborative effort so that families can get the support they so desperately want and need. This is best done by providing effective services through the schools. Boys Town Nevada has been working with a coalition of organizations to provide much-needed services to students and their families through a school-based initiative. This collaborative, focused effort provides families with access to immediate assistance so students can focus on what’s most important – their education.

 

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Sarah: Myrtle Tate Elementary School is a school that serves about 830 students in Las Vegas, Nevada. So, because we have students who come from low-income homes and have language challenges, a lot of the times, they don't come to school prepared with the basic essentials needed to be successful in school. We've had students come to school who haven't had dinner. We've had students come to school with dirty clothes that have not been washed in weeks. We've had students come to my office with multiple discipline referrals. We've had students who are very disruptive in the classroom and on our ​school campus. We've had parents come to us saying, "We don't know what to do with our children at home." We've had students not even come to school.

Graciela: A lot of the times, families have issues at home. Parents can't really concentrate on the kids' ability to stay on top of them with homework, or making sure that they attend school every day. And so that's kind of why they ended up seeking us to see if we can kind of be that help at home, while they're helping the student at the school.

Sarah: About two years ago, the Latin Chamber of Commerce got together a group of principals from neighboring outreach schools and asked us what they could do to better support our schools.

Daniel: I had attended a meeting at the Core County School District where Boys Town was giving a presentation, and everything they had to say just screamed out community engagement, helping people solve problems, and looking to community partnerships. And that's when I contacted the principal and said, "Listen, that call yesterday...can't help you, but I know somebody who I think can." Boys Town can provide these professional services, they're pros at it. The Chamber has just kind of networked people together and brought people together for a need, but Boys Town has done the yeoman's work in this. The Engelstad Family Foundation has also, through their generosity, been able to provide funding that has actually started making an impact.

Sarah: So what Boys Town Nevada has been able to do for our school is hire a full-time facilitator that is housed at one of the four schools that is part of this special program. That facilitator, who is a bilingual Spanish speaker and English speaker, works directly with our school communities. So she's familiar with our students, she's familiar with our staff, and she's familiar with the families that come to our schools.

Prisilla: Boys Town has helped families gain access to community service centers, access to medical help, access to parenting classes, access to good quality therapy services for their children, and access to after-school programs.

Mother 1: Without Boys Town's help, I would probably be depressed, I wouldn't have progressed. My kids would be still out of control. Thanks to them, I took parenting classes. My little boy is still very rebellious, but now he's more calm.

Sarah: They would work with the school to make sure we were using the same strategies in the classroom, so that the student had consistent expectations between home and in school.

Mother 1: They helped me so much. Thanks to God, Boys Town exist.

Sarah: Students who have participated in the Boys Town Nevada program have had dramatic success in the classroom. Their behaviors, they're sitting quietly, they're compliant with the teacher and they're doing their schoolwork, helping them become better students.

Desiree: What changes is I don't get as many referrals. I don't get teachers calling me from their classroom asking me to come down and remove a student, to speak with them, which results in a loss of instruction.

Sarah: Currently, this program is available in five local Clark County School District schools. However, we have over 300 schools in our district and a lot of them have the same needs that we do. So I would love to see this program expand so that other schools benefit from the program.

Daniel: Boys Town helps families and communities in this city by enabling them to become better citizens, better parents, more engaged in their child's education, and therefore more engaged in the community. We need everybody on board. We just can't depend on teachers or principals or other community agencies. It does truly take a village to educate a child, and I believe that the glue that holds that theory together, in this case, has been Boys Town.

Mother 2: My life was like a tornado. I had a lot of... I had no job. I was ready to be evicted. I was getting ready to get my power shut off. I had a lot of headaches. I had more problems than answers, and when I got help...such a relief, sir. It's a blessing. Thank you so much to Boys Town for helping me and taking in consideration my family. Thank you so much to Boys Town, yes, sir.

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