The Smith Center helped make a difference for many Nevada students this August by donating a van full of school supplies to Communities in Schools (CIS) of Nevada, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed.
Just in time for the new school year, The Smith Center’s employees donated nearly 900 school supply items to CIS’ annual Fill the Bus school supply drive. The donation totaled 105 more items than The Smith Center donated to the drive last year, its first year participating in the event.
“Our team members believe in providing Nevada students with tools that will help them fulfill their dreams,” says Myron Martin, president and CEO of The Smith Center. “This not only includes providing our education and outreach programs that promote arts in education, but also donating items that directly support students’ academic work. We applaud the many efforts of Communities in Schools of Nevada to help children thrive in the classroom.”
All of The Smith Center’s departments participated in the school supply drive, with each designing its own donation box to motivate employees. Several staff members sorted the boxes of donated supplies and transported them in a Ford-donated van to CIS’ designated drop-off location, where volunteers filled donations into several school buses.
This year marks CIS’ fourth annual Fill the Bus event. After collecting the donated supplies, the organization stores these materials in a warehouse, with CIS site coordinators visiting as needed to distribute items to students.
CIS served more than 58,000 students statewide over the past year, according to the organization, and it expects to help even more in the 2016 to 2017 school year.
Community focused activities such as the school supply drive help connect employees at The Smith Center, says Venus Carter-Ramirez, community engagement representative.
“Everyone went out of their way to make special donations,” she says. “Staff members responded (to the supply drive) very well.”
In addition to participating in CIS’ school supply drive, The Smith Center offers many programs supporting education in Southern Nevada, including its new Heart of Education Awards recognizing outstanding teachers, the Disney Musicals in Schools program helping schools put on musical theater performances, and its Southern Nevada Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts program placing professional teaching artists in local classrooms.
Employees at The Smith Center look forward to supporting CIS and its school supply drive for years to come, Carter-Ramirez says.
The donation size is expected to grow, she promises.
“We would like to increase our donation to 1,000 items next year,” she says.