"Strong Start Nevada" Education Campaign Kicks Off - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

"Strong Start Nevada" Education Campaign Kicks Off

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School superintendent Pedro Martinez is hoping to keep the momentum going on Washoe County’s rising graduation rate. He's not getting much help on the money side of things. As he told us today, "We have a deficit going into next year. We're struggling right now just to make sure that we keep all of our programs."

Through their almost endless budget crunch, northern Nevada schools are seeing more value in what business leaders can contribute, and how parents can help with things like reading and homework involvement.

In his almost-two-years as superintendent for Washoe County, Martinez has seen that there is great value in what learning at home can do for students. What makes a successful student with high grades? He told us, “Those children are being read to; they have a small library at home. Those are the ones that don't start behind, so we're not playing catch up with them, and they have a much higher chance to succeed." But there are too many who don’t. In the big picture, the system is lacking parental and financial support.

Community support is also needed, and Nevada's first lady has seen that work for students too. Kathleen Sandoval told us that involvement from outside their families gives students “the desire to know, that they know they are going to succeed, and they're not just pushing along to never graduate."

Mrs. Sandoval launched the "Strong Start for Children in Nevada" campaign today. It's aimed at mobilizing parents, communities and business leaders to bring early childhood education to those who need it most.

The goal is more preschool for the low income families that aren't getting it. That takes money, but this new campaign is not backing a funding bill. Instead, they're asking community organizations to step in with help, like tutoring. They also need businesses to invest into things like having their own employee daycare centers, and incentives for parents at work. As Mrs. Sandoval told us, "Those are ways that they can do things that aren't going to necessarily be money that they're putting out, but can engage their parents to be their child's first teacher, as well as support early childhood education."

-written by John Potter

There are great ideas of how you can get involved at the “Strong Start Nevada” website. You can check it out below:


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