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Education Notebook: School news and events for May 19-25, 2016

Letters About Literature: The reading and writing contest for students in grades four through 12 sponsored by the U.S. Library of Congress Center for the Book in Washington, D.C., asked students to read a book, poem or speech and write to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them. Letters are judged on state and national levels. There were more than 47,000 letters originally submitted, nationally, to the Library of Congress in 2016 from all 51 states and districts. Of those, three winners were identified for each state, one per level, and their letters were resubmitted to the Library of Congress for third-round judging, to determine national finalists.

Nevada State winners are:

— Level 1, grades 4-6: Erin Choi, individual entry; wrote to C.S. Lewis about the book, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

— Level 2, grades 7-8: Sneha Sridhar, The Meadows School; wrote to Ray Bradbury about the book, “Fahrenheit 451.”

— Level 3, grades 9-12: Haley Bain, Northwest Career and Technical Academy; wrote to Robert Frost about the poem, “The Road Not Taken.”

Contact Robbie DeBuff, library consultant, at 702-486-5703 or rdebuff@admin.nv.gov.

Volunteers recognized: Communities In Schools of Nevada honored its volunteers and partners and praised the success of its students, with the 2016 Power Within honors ceremony May 4 at Historic Fifth Street School. Volunteer and partner honorees are:

— CarMax West Sahara, Community Volunteer of the Year (group)

— Natalie Manning, Community Volunteer of the Year (individual)

— Positively Kids, Community Partner of the Year

— Goodie Two Shoes Foundation, Community Partner of the Year

— Wynn Resorts, Corporate Partner of the Year

— Nevada State Bank, Sustaining Partner of the Year

— Dr. Lisa Morris Hibbler, Civic and Public Partner of the Year

Visit cisnevada.org.

New Educators of the Year: The Clark County School District Board of Trustees and Human Resources Division made surprise presentations to its New Educators of the Year in early May. Each year, the district selects seven first-year educators from the more than 1,000 eligible first-year hires to honor them for their ontributions to their respective schools. The educators, which can be teachers, specialists and other licensed personnel, were selected by a panel that reviewed all the nominations for the awards. This year’s recipients include:

— Christiana Allen, art teacher at Tate Elementary School.

— Tamara Brazell, second-grade teacher at Lake Elementary School.

— Rachel Farver – School psychologist at Wayne N. Tanaka Elementary School.

— Mysti Haynes – Special education teacher at Lincoln Elementary School.

— Michael Kershaw – Social studies teacher at Rancho High School.

— Kelly Konops – Math teacher at Kathleen and Tim Harney Middle School.

— Robert Speciale – Fifth-grade teacher at Indian Springs Elementary School.

Visit ccsd.net.

Philharmonic recognized: The Las Vegas Philharmonic was recently inducted into the Clark County School District’s Excellence in Education Hall of Fame, recognizing the nonprofit for its impactful music education programs benefiting CCSD students through its annual Youth Concert Series. The program has been providing free concerts and companion classroom curriculum since the orchestra’s inception in 1999. Visit lvphil.org or call 702-258-5438.

Nonprofit receives grant: A $100,000 grant from the Engelstad Family Foundation has been awarded to HopeLink of Southern Nevada for the new fiscal year beginning July 1. Funds were awarded in recognition for the program’s effectiveness, which also helped the agency win Top Non-Profit of 2015 from a field of 74 nominees last November. Visit link2hope.org or call Karen Kyger at 702-566-0576.

Power Hour program: Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada and Ross Stores are partnering to support the Club’s Power Hour program, an interactive after-school homework assistance program for members, ages 6 to 18. The program offers the opportunity for club staff to support youths in developing a positive attitude about learning while emphasizing the importance of high school graduation. The partnership with Ross Stores will assist in making the program a more effective tool to keep members on top of their academic studies as well as provide the club with staff training and resources.

Investigating History: The Mob Museum, 300 Stewart Ave., has launched Investigating History, a comprehensive educational outreach program to be offered to Clark County schools. Funded by the Las Vegas Centennial Commission, the program introduces students to the topics of Las Vegas history, constitutional law and criminal justice through interactive standards-based classroom and auditorium presentations. Designed for fourth- through 12th-grade students, the hands-on program will be presented by museum educators and will support the fulfillment of national and state curriculum standards. Call 702-229-2734 or visit themobmuseum.org.  

Instrument collection: The Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild, in partnership with Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, has launched an instrument collection program to benefit local school music programs. The initiative is intended to address the need for musical instruments for school music programs, particularly in charter schools in the Las Vegas Valley. The organization is seeking playable instruments in good condition, and because these instruments may need some refurbishing, it is also seeking interested parties for monetary contributions or donations of instrument repair services. For more information, to donate or to get involved, contact Monica Fuller at guildeducation@lvphil.com or 702-580-8528.

Degrees, internships, scholarships, enrollments and contests:

WGU offering nurse scholarships: WGU Nevada is offering up to $20,000 in scholarships for nurses across the state and is set to award up to 10 scholarships to nurses who wish to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree program in WGU Nevada’s College of Health Professions. Each WGU Loves Nurses Scholarship is valued at up to $2,000, or $500 per six-month term for up to four terms. New and enrolling students can apply for these scholarships through July 31 at nevada.wgu.edu/wgulovesnurses. To be eligible, scholarship applicants must be officially admitted to WGU Nevada, complete the scholarship application, which includes an essay, and be interviewed by a scholarship counselor. Visit nevada.wgu.edu/wgulovesnurses.

Cybersecurity and Information Assurance degree: WGU Nevada is now accepting applications for its newest online master’s degree program, Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. The new program offers coursework that aligns with the latest standards from national security organizations, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency. The program is designed for experienced information systems professionals or individuals with real-world IT experience who are seeking a master’s degree and planning to become certified in ethical hacking or computer forensic investigation. WGU Nevada’s terms are six months long, and students may enroll on the first of any month, completing as many courses as they are able for a flat-rate tuition of about $3,000 per term. Visit nevada.wgu.edu/cybersecurity.

Leadership Academy enrollment: Leadership Academy of Nevada is enrolling students for the 2016-17 school year. LANV focuses on developing leaders through delivery of a liberal-arts education via cutting-edge technology in grades six through 12 throughout Nevada. Regularly scheduled Enrollment Information Meetings are held online and in Las Vegas so that parents and students can learn more. A list of Enrollment Information Meeting dates, times, and places can be found at lanv.org.

Teaching scholarships: WGU Nevada is partnering with the Nevada Department of Education to offer up to 20 full-ride scholarships to residents who wish to pursue a career in teaching. In 2015, the Nevada Department of Education provided $240,000 to WGU Nevada as part of the Nevada Legislature’s Teach Nevada Scholarship Initiative. Individuals interested in applying are required to complete WGU Nevada’s Alternate Route to Licensure program for elementary and secondary teaching. The ARL program is an accelerated pathway for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree but do not have a teaching license. After successful completion of the accelerated program, students will have completed a series of rigorous courses, in-person observations, and clinical experiences in a public school classroom that prepares them to be highly effective teachers. Winning scholarship recipients will be awarded $3,000 per term, not to exceed a total of $12,000 per student. Scholarships are available to new students who possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a non-education related field from an accredited university. To learn more about the scholarship, email scholarships@wgu.edu. Visit nevada.wgu.edu.

Latin Chamber scholarship: In collaboration with the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce, WGU Nevada is encouraging professionals to embark on continuing education by offering more than $30,000 in scholarships to members of the chamber through its Las Vegas Otto Merida Scholarship program. The scholarships, valued at up to $3,200 per student, will be applied at the rate of $800 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms. Scholarships are available to new students looking to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in any of WGU Nevada’s more than 50 degree programs in information technology, business, teacher education, or health care. Potential awardees must be a member of the chamber, or belong to a member company, which comprises more than 800 members. The WGU Nevada Otto Merida Scholarship was created in honor of the founder and chief executive officer of the Latin Chamber of Commerce. Visit nevada.wgu.edu/LVLCC.

Host families sought for exchange students: International Experience USA, a nonprofit high school student exchange organization approved by the U.S. Department of State, is seeking host families in the Las Vegas Valley to provide room and board, help with transportation and provide emotional support to exchange students. The students provide their own insurance and personal spending money. Visit ie-usa.org or contact Carol Myint at 507-301-3615 or c.myint@international-experience.net.

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