SPARKS, Nev. (December 2, 2011)—Raley’s Family of Fine Stores presented the students and faculty of Van Gorder Elementary School with a $5,000 grant to use toward much needed technology upgrades in the classroom at a school-wide assembly held Friday, Dec. 2. Earlier this year, 18 schools within the Northern Nevada region competed for the grant through the Raley’s Reach program benefitting back-to-school needs.
In a continued effort to give back to the community, locally-owned and family-operated Raley’s Family of Fine Stores provided a total of $25,000 to Northern California and Nevada schools through its Raley’s Reach grant program. The program attracted 136 nominations and 66,627 online votes as schools competed for five $5,000 grants. Raley’s offers the unique opportunity for grants to go where participants recognize the greatest need.
Van Gorder Elementary School became aware of the Raley’s Reach grant opportunity just one day prior to the deadline and worked quickly to submit their nomination to use the grant money to purchase LCD projectors and updated equipment for the student computer lab. Through the support and dedication of faculty, PTAs, parents and other community members, the K-6 school earned a total of 1,162 online votes and was the top school within the Northern Nevada region.
“Van Gorder Elementary School is not considered an ‘at-risk’ school so we don't receive any additional funding,” said Jennifer VanTress, Principal of Van Gorder Elementary School. “Yet, in these tough economic times, we are seeing that many of our families are struggling and so our school fundraisers have not been as successful over the last several years. Our goal is to ensure our students understand the importance of technology in an educational setting and how to use it safely and appropriately.”
This grant is being received at a pivotal time, as the Nevada Department of Education and Washoe County School District are moving toward a more technology-based curriculum through the use of computers for state-wide and district-wide assessments. These technology purchases will accommodate multiple student-learning styles, improve problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, as well as enhance the overall educational experience for students across all grade levels.
“It’s so inspiring to see how the Sparks community came together and rallied around Van Gorder Elementary School,” said Jennie Teel-Wolter, Raley’s Community Relations Manager. “We are proud to be able to give back through our Raley’s Reach program when so many schools are facing budget cuts and resources are scarce.”
The Raley’s Reach program was first launched in May of 2010 and has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to 20 community projects throughout Northern California and Nevada.