LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman touched on several topics during Thursday's State of the City address, but one of her main points was improving southern Nevada's education system and shoring up the city's relationship with the Clark County School District.
"Reading, literacy rates and graduation statistics are abysmally low. We at the city have known this and watched, though we had no power to do anything but we don't care. We're stepping to the plate now to make a change," Goodman said.
The CCSD School-Community Partnership finds ways to strengthen the partnership between schools and the larger community. The group says the need is tremendous and the time is now for the city or anyone else to offer support.
"There are things like paper, copy paper, lined paper, pencils, rulers," Beverly Mason with CCSD School-Community Partnership said, "We also have the need for classroom helpers."
Mason says the biggest void is for mentors.
"A caring adult for students that may be struggling academically or socially. To have that one caring adult that can come and visit with them just one hour a week playing games, talking, talking about goal setting, about higher education, the importance of education, reading with them," she said.
In her State of the City address, Mayor Goodman promised more support of education in Las Vegas.
"I have committed our city to turn around and embrace a partnership with our public schools and higher education all to enhance learning, which in the end benefits the student and the economy," Goodman said.
Goodman is currently working with 11 schools through a project called Las Vegas Downtown Achieves where 60 community leaders have partnered to identify needs and connect students to resources.
"The city is focusing on the most challenged inner-city schools to give these denied children equal footing in the world of competition and opportunity," Goodman said.
However, the city wants to do more. Mason has a laundry list, including corporations adopting schools and volunteer coaches for a drop-out prevention programs.
Simple actions that make a world of difference for students.
"Their motivated to try. They want to come to school. It is an incentive for them to come and try and value their education," Mason said.
In terms of higher education, the College of Southern Nevada has a campus in the heart of downtown offering training classes and GED courses.
UNLV has a business start-up center inside the Fifth Street School downtown.