No Rich Child Left Behind
In the April 27, 2013, New York Times Opinionator section, is an article written by Sean F. Reardon. He writes how it is widely known that children who live in homes with higher incomes do better in school than those children that are living in disadvantaged homes. This article shows how the gap in testing scores is growing. To read more from this professor of education and sociology at Stanford, click here.
Epinephrine Saves Lives!
This session I have worked on Senate Bill 453, a bill that would require epinephrine to be stocked in our schools in case of an emergency. I am proud to be a part of a bill that can save lives. Thank you, Caroline, for asking me to be a part of this life saving legislation. To read more by Caroline and the need for epinephrine in schools, you can check out her blog here.
Kindergarten: Who Pays?
There is much discussion in the Nevada State Legislature this session about Full Day Kindergarten (FDK). Some schools provide half day kindergarten, some provide full day kindergarten and some allow parents to pay for FDK. There are many families that are not able to afford the tuition, so some children miss the opportunity for that early learning advantage. My goal is for the state to fund a universal full day kindergarten program where all children have access to the same opportunity. The Las Vegas Sun recapped here if you would like to learn more.
Congrats to Food Bank of Northern Nevada!
Our very own Food Bank of Northern Nevada was named a 2013 Member of the Year at the Feeding America National Exective Director's Forum. See below for the this story.
Food Bank of Northern Nevada Named 2013 Member of the Year
Recognition for efforts in raising awareness, funds to help fight hunger
(CHICAGO, April 11, 2013)—The Food Bank of Northern Nevada was named the 2013 Member of the Year at the Feeding America National Executive Directors' Forum that took place this week in Nashville. The award is given to the year’s most outstanding food bank of the 202 food banks across the nation in the Feeding America network.
Judges selected the Nevada food bank because of its exceptional work over the past year. The Food Bank of Northern Nevada is in the top 10% in the nation in seven strategic benchmarks used by food banks across the country - in everything from the amount of nutritious food it distributes to the community to its efforts in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) outreach among those in need.
Among the food bank’s other accomplishments:
· Growing its volunteer program from 6,000 to 22,000 in just four years;
· Sustaining a SNAP outreach strategy that has helped bring in an addition 4.2 million meals in one year to people in need;
· Increasing food distribution to hungry Nevadans and Californians in the 90,000 square miles they serve;
· Establishing a mobile pantry system that brings nutritious foods to people in their community.
"The Food Bank of Northern Nevada is always looking for ways to understand how to best serve their clients," said Bob Aiken, President and CEO of Feeding America, the nation's leading anti-hunger relief charity. "With strong internal leadership, high brand awareness and a comprehensive, sustainable fundraising strategy, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada is truly a leader in our Network.
“(President and CEO) Cherie Jamason and her remarkable team are well deserving of this great honor. Their effort to help feed the hungry in the Northern Nevada area and their contribution to our mission is truly inspiring.”
The Food Bank of Northern Nevada will distribute 12 million pounds of food this year through more than 136 partner agencies and seven direct service programs in 13 northern Nevada counties and eight counties in the Tahoe/Sierra region of California. These member agencies operate programs like food pantries, hot meal sites, shelters and other hunger-relief programs in the neighborhoods and communities where people need food.
“We are deeply touched and very humbled to receive this amazing recognition from our peers. This award honors us for going above and beyond providing basic food assistance. It is a tribute to our leadership, continuous innovation and the commitment of our team to effectively meet the evolving needs of our clients and our community,” stated Cherie Jamason, President and CEO of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.
About Feeding America
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 61,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit http://www.feedingamerica.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow our news on Twitter at twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.
Interviews: Cherie Jamason, CEO, Food Bank of Northern Nevada
Contact: Gretchen Kelley Bietz, Chief Development & Marketing Officer
Senator Bill Raggio
It was 1997 and the legislature had just passed the Nevada Education Reform Act, one of Senator Raggio’s hallmark bills. Governor Miller asked me, as the Nevada PTA President, to chair the Council to Establish Academic Standards. Apparently when an LCB staffer told the senator I had been appointed to chair the council that would set the state’s first standards, he quipped, “Oh no. She’s not one of those liberal PTA ladies is she?” As the work progressed, he expressed his satisfaction with the work of the council and a relationship of mutual respect was born.
As I began my legislative service in 2001, he gave me encouragement and the occasional helping hand. It was the last day of the 2005 session and Barbara Buckley called me to her office and told me to go to Senator Raggio’s office to negotiate the final points of the big education bill that Governor Guinn had introduced. I was intimidated but excited. I was wearing a brightly colored jacket that he complimented as I entered his office. We went ‘round and ‘round about the final sticking points of the language. It was a big bill and it took hours for the final amendment to come out. It was about 2 a.m. when I saw the language and I went to Buckley’s office and told her there was one piece Raggio would be upset about that didn’t get drafted the way I intended. I figured he’d be calling us any time. Within a few minutes, her secretary called to say Senator Raggio was waiting to come in. In he walks in the middle of the night, looking fresh and dapper and ready to command the moment. I was still in the clothes he had complemented the day before. I instantly felt like the underdog! I talked to Dale about it years later and she said he always kept a fresh suit and showered and changed and took a nap on those last, long nights of session. It was a small moment but a big lesson that has stayed with me. Sometimes, the less obvious things help make the legislator successful with the end game!
We were of different parties and different generations, he was born two weeks before my mother, but we liked and respected each other. I was fortunate to spend some travel time with Bill and Dale and saw his comfort level with people of all kinds and witnessed his humor on a daily basis. I always noticed the way he interacted with our staff and members of the press and how kind and gracious he was.
Now let’s be clear that it wasn’t all fun and easy. Senator Raggio knew how to reach across the aisle and craft the deal, especially when the pressure was on. But he was smart and shrewd and could do the deal because he was tough and, at times, intimidating. We all remember the lines about calling in his “cousin Guido” after all! In the 2009 session, I would stop by his office once in a while to see if he had any good advice. I never once heard him complain or change his style because he was suddenly housed in the minority leader office. The consummate professional.
Greg and I are really grateful because we had dinner with Bill right before he left for Australia. He was in great form and gave me encouragement for these tough political times.
Senator – the memory of a good deed can never be taken from the heart of the one who is grateful. I am grateful to you for your service to our state and for the blip I was in your life that taught me much.
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