LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Some kids in the Las Vegas valley are getting the same high-quality education normally reserved for a traditional classroom from a new mobile campus.
The Strong Start Go Mobile Academy, a free program offered through the city of Las Vegas, is giving little ones a head start to set them up for success in kindergarten and beyond.
“What we’re trying to do is just build that strong foundation,” said Las Vegas City Manager Angela Rose. “Give [students] time to work out those social/emotional cues, like conflict resolution, how to express your feelings, and how to learn the basic elements of letters and numbers.”
“We want to increase access,” said Rose. “We know that families out there need programs, they need access to Pre-K and we know that not everybody has those abilities.”
Strong Start Go Mobile Academy has four buses set up throughout Las Vegas to make it easier for families to get to. Rose said families’ zip codes shouldn’t determine their access to high-quality education.
“Back in 2017 when we built this program, we looked at community-level census data to see where our highest areas of need were and then we also coupled that with childcare licensing information to see what areas of town did not have access to high-quality Pre-K programs,” said Rose.
Jackie Granados, a teacher assistant with the Strong Start Go Mobile Academy, said this program is truly important for less-advantaged kids and their parents. Granados said some parents have told her they wouldn’t be able to send their kids to Pre-K without a free program like this one.
“I’m seeing how grateful these parents and families are for us,” Granados said. “The benefits, the high quality learning that we’re giving them, and the access to have this free program and be able to drive to a near location for them.”
Parents of eight children, Cedric and Star Russum drive their three-year-old son Marced to the Strong Start Go Mobile Academy. Star said she is thrilled with both the quality of education and the fact that it’s free.
“Free, we love free,” Star Russum laughed. “We always strive for education. Education first. We want [our kids] to focus on their education so if we can start soon, the earliest they can, we’re with it, we’re for it.”
“It’s just great,” Cedric Russum agreed. “Because when they are young you want to get them to know as much as they can before they start school as kindergartners and first graders. So with this program– it’s amazing.”
The city currently has four buses going to various neighborhoods. It is in the process of building more mobile classrooms to expand the program. The current locations include:
- Sherman Gardens Annex location (Owens Avenue and H Street)
- Derfelt Strong Future location (Twin Lakes Drive and Washington Avenue)
- Chuck Minker location (Mojave Road and Stewart Avenue)
- Historic Westside location (Washington Avenue and D Street)
There are current openings for students for the free, half-day pre-K classes. You can learn more about the Strong Start Go Mobile Academy at the City of Las Vegas’s website, or you can call 702-229-KIDS (5437.)
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