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Students in Vegas valley benefit from Founder's Day sports, music equipment drive

LAS VEGAS - Thousands of students in the Clark County School District have the tools they need to participate in a comprehensive educational program, and it's all because of residents of the Las Vegas valley's generous help.

Over the summer, 8 News NOW teamed up with After-School All-Stars to collect sporting and musical equipment. It was all done in honor of the television station's parent company -- Nexstar's -- 'Founder's Day.'

According to After-School All-Stars, the organization would not be able to offer music and sports as part of its program, if it wasn't for donations.

8 News NOW viewers donated almost 1,000 items that benefit students attending 16 title-one schools.  

8 News NOW was at C.P. Squires Elementary School as students enjoyed a game of soccer during their time at the After-School All-Stars program, which focuses on academics and enrichment after the school day ends.

"What I like most about it is that everyone gets to play," said Juliette Perez.

"I like how we get to verse other teams, and we practice," said Joxiri Hernandez, student.

The kids practice with soccer balls donated by the community. 
 Even the orange cones on the field came at no cost to the school.

"We had enough supplies to be able to provide donations to all 16 of our participating schools," said Jodi Manzella, executive director of After-School All-Stars.  "One of them being right here C.P. Squires."

Just weeks before the new academic year started, a van full of sporting and music equipment also made its way to C.T. Sewell elementary school.

"This provides supplies that we can't normally buy for the students and things that we don't really have here so it provides equipment that we might not be able to get for them," said Erin Ko, site leader, After-School All-Stars.

All donations are distributed throughout the participating schools, and they will benefit more than 6,500 students taking part in the program.

"This program is super important for keeping our children off the streets after school; giving them something to do and help with their education," said Ko.

So, when 8 News NOW asked for help, southern Nevada responded.  

Car after car lined up outside the 8 News NOW studios during the 'Nextar Founder's Day Supply Drive.'

"Community involvement is so important in what we do," said Traci Trevino, events & marketing manager, After-School All-Stars.  "It allows us to grow and expand: whether it's a monetary donation or a donation like this -- sports and music equipment, stem equipment." 

The equipment has allowed students attending schools in low-income communities to score big.

"I've gotten a little bit better," Juliette said.  "It's fun," said Joxiri. 
    
Again, After-School All-Stars has about 6,500 students. This year, they expanded to two new schools and are hoping to enroll 7,000 kids in the program.

If you want to find out how to get involved with the program or make a donation go here.


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