We've been living and raising our family in Las Vegas for 6 years already. Last year I wrote how I l enjoy calling Las Vegas home. Feel free to check out that post HERE! Do I get weird looks when I tell people this? Absolutely. And I always feel I have to defend Vegas. One thing I hear a lot is how Vegas doesn't have a great public educational system. If you look at the data, it's true, Nevada does not rank high in public education. Does this change how I feel about raising my kiddos here? Not really, not right now. I do wish kindergarten was full day, though! Things might change as my kids grow up, but for now I like the elementary school they attend. It's a four star school and my son is in the Gifted & Talented Program. He's involved in a weekly morning art club, and he's in Instrument Ensemble, having music practice twice a week. He'll be participating in Battle of the Books (kinda like Jeopardy for Clark County schools based on 8 books they had to read and study). He'll also be attending Astro Camp in May! Their school principal and teachers communicate regularly with us, they put together fun activities throughout the year, and seem to really care about their students. Staying involved with school activities has helped my son stay on top of his grades and reading and I'm sure it will be the same for my daughter too. At least, I hope so ;)
One such activity was the Let's Go! Fun Run! For the past 3 years, the school has put together not only the traditional cookie dough selling fundraisers, but also a fun run. I was so excited about it the first year and I'm so happy they have continued to have fun runs for the kids. We're a pretty active family and anything that gets my kids out there and moving is a big plus! With the Let's Go! Fun Run this year, they added the "color run" aspect to it, which made it especially fun for the kiddos. I'd participated in the Color Run 5K a few years ago, so my kids knew what to expect, but the paperwork they sent home was very specific in explaining the color corn starch they used and even had an optional colorless fun run for those who didn't want to participate. The fundraiser works by having the students ask donors to sponsor their run. I really liked that this year there was no minimum donation required. I think it made it easier for folks to donate what they were comfortable giving. In the weeks leading to the race, they have The Go! Team visit the classrooms getting the students excited about fitness, healthy eating, and good manners.
As a family, we "trained" for the fun run about 2 weeks before. So, it really got them involved and having fun while running and exercising. On the day of the run, I volunteered to serve the runners water and got to see my kiddos running and having fun. It was a blast.
My little Elysse insisted on fun knee high socks for the run. She wanted to be like her mommy! Proud moment for me ;)
Raising healthy, happy kids is a big priority for me as a parent and doing it in Las Vegas is no different than doing it most other places. I also feel that it is my responsibility as a parent to take care of their educational needs too. I'm not going to just have them in school and expect the teachers to do my job. I expect my children to learn in school, yes, but it is my responsibility to teach them beyond the school system. Children learn and thrive in a hands-on environment and I believe life-experiences and travels will do so much more for my kids in the long run than going to a top-notch school. Don't get me wrong, would I want them to go to a top-notch school? Absolutely! But, I am also realistic and I intend on making the best of what we have and where we are. I hope you do too! Do you love or hate your child's school? In your opinion, what makes the difference in public schools? I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially if you're local to Las Vegas!