#4 ‘R’ of Downtown Achieves: Results

Downtown Achieves is working diligently with 75+ community stakeholders, across sectors, to “move the needle” in education in Nevada, and more partners are joining us daily. We’re not here to change schools; we’re here to change lives. With your assistance, the next generation of southern Nevada students will have the knowledge, skills and abilities to be educated and successful adults with limitless possibilities; providing Nevada with a competitive workforce, and a leader in education.

Additional Program Funding

Based on Downtown Achieves round one elementary data conducted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the city of Las Vegas approved two-year contracts, totaling over $800,000 to implement and/or expand resources in Downtown Achieves and My Brother’s Keeper schools:

  • After-school Tutoring – expanded partnership with Andson Foundation at specified Safekey sites to provide after-school care and tutoring to targeted families to provide additional assistance at no charge.
  • Wrap-around Services -expanded partnership with Communities in Schools to provide wrap-around services and link at-risk students to community resources at additional sites.
  • Literacy – expanded partnership with Public Education Foundation to support additional Literacy Lift-off programs, a summer bridge and after-school intervention program.
  • Teacher Development – expanded partnership with Teach for America to continue to implement a teacher development program that aligns quality teaching with Downtown Achieves.

Improved Attendance

Downtown Achieves, the city of Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) conducted a pilot program at JT McWilliams Elementary School around attendance. The pilot program increased perfect attendance by 14%, and JT McWilliams was awarded the 2014 Pacesetter award by the national Campaign for Grade Level Reading. In 2015-2016, based on the pilot model, Downtown Achieves launched an expanded and more extensive attendance awareness campaign in all seven elementary schools. The goal is to decrease the number of students missing 10 or more days in one school year, by 50% across the DA elementary schools.

School Gardens

Downtown Achieves and the city of Las Vegas have been instrumental in ensuring all eleven DA schools have a school garden by the end of the 2015-2016 school year, lending additional learning opportunities around STEM, nutrition, conservation, and environmental careers, as well as providing an opportunity for students to learn business skills by hosting farmer’s markets and inviting their local communities to visit their school and develop neighborhood relationships.

Crestwood garden

School Culture/Climate

Downtown Achieves and the city of Las Vegas has provided resources to improve school culture and climate by connecting local artists and providing funding to create colorful, often educational murals on the campuses. This encourages parents and the community to come together around our schools to strengthen relationships.

McWilliams Mural Project IMG_4707

Student Services/Resources

Through our community partnerships, Downtown Achieves has been able to connect Downtown Achieves schools with community resources. Examples include:

  • Computers: Computers were provided to classrooms and offices to assist with registration for the 2015/2016 school year. IMG_0023
  • Additional wrap-around services/resources:
    • For the 2015-2016 school year, all 11 DA schools will welcome Eye Care 4 Kids to their campuses. Eye Care 4 Kids provides eye glasses to children in need.
    • Lice kits and alarm clocks were given to elementary and middle school to mitigate school absences.
    • Through a partnership with Las Vegas Rescue Mission and Capriotti’s, over 2,000 students at three DA schools (Fyfe, McWilliams, and Twin Lakes) were provided an extra meal at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, congratulating them on their hard work.

Teacher Resources

For Teacher Appreciation Week in May 2015, Downtown Achieves and the city of Las Vegas provided $500 to all 11 DA schools to enhance teacher lounges. Refreshments and gift cards from Smith’s grocery and Goodwill of S. Nevada were also provided. At the start of the 2015-2016 school year, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Capriotti’s, the Neon Museum, the Mob Museum, Children’s Discovery Museum, the Springs Preserve, and the Las Vegas History Museum provided teacher giveaways.