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Dear CORE Champion, 
It is finally Springtime and we are seeing the blooms from the hard work that we have all planted together! Throughout the month, we have had fantastic opportunities for our Scholars to feel empowered through enrichment and advocacy.  With so much in flux over the last year, it is exciting to see our CORE Community thriving.

Ladies in Training has added a series of workshops centered on self-care allowing young ladies to unwind before the school week begins. A modern etiquette program for young ladies, this program helps Scholars to build confidence, poise, and other skills necessary for navigating diverse social and professional settings.  
With the inability to meet in person, the interactive course paused very early on in the pandemic. Much of the etiquette training involves observing behavioral and physical cues such as posture and body language, which is difficult to convey via a computer screen. Despite this, the young ladies continued to reach out with questions and concerns, relaying the stress and monotony brought on by the pandemic.

“I was concerned with what the young ladies expressed they were feeling during this time,” said Michelle Sanders, CORE board member, and founder of Ladies in Training. “My greatest concern was, are they taking care of themselves? How can I find a way to help them decompress.”
Self-Care Sunday gets everyone moving and blossoming outside of their typical routines. Scholars can "let it all out" with a range of activities from yoga, meditation, dance fitness, and more. Sanders hopes that this program curbs the high levels of stress that scholars are experiencing as they transition through the pandemic and looks forward to returning in-person with guest speakers as things transition in the coming months.

This month CORE joined education organizations from across the state as a co-host of the first EdSpeaks panel. EdSpeaks is an initiative that seeks to empower students to share their authentic voice and experience with people in positions of power.   The goal is to break down barriers between the student experience and policymakers who make the decisions that directly impact their lives. CORE Scholar Pablo, a junior at West Prep High School, joined as one of the five high school student panelists from throughout the state, alongside others from Clark, Lyon, and Elko counties.
         Each student came with a question for our state legislators. Pablo asked, “If you were totally in charge of education in the state, what would you do and why?”  The students also considered their own responses to the questions asked, and Pablo’s question created a great deal of conversation over the needs young people see as most urgent in our public school system. A fellow high school senior from North Las Vegas said she would “ensure that the dual enrollment programs are actually accessible to everyone and not just some people because I know that I benefited from the dual enrollment program, but when it comes to paying for books and extra class fees I had problems with that.”  One student from Elko county shared his concerns about the lack of funding for vocational classes, underscoring the diverse needs within different regions of our state. He urged leaders to “find a balance between establishing tracks for students who are looking forward to college and are looking to take those challenging classes, as well as establishing classes such as vocational welding or agriculture for students who are looking for a career right after high school.” Pablo also wanted to see a greater variety of specialized career-centered courses being offered, citing medical programs that are offered in some locations here in CCSD but not at his own school. 
         By bringing students together to share their perspectives on what is needed in education, EdSpeaks aims to elevate and center the voices of young people in developing education policy that reflects their needs. As students shared their concerns with challenges such as overcrowded classrooms and the availability of coursework that reflected their learning interests, they also highlighted one common resource that had benefited each of them: educators who cared and tried to provide the most for their students. CORE is proud to stand alongside our EdSpeaks partners: Opportunity 180, HOPE for Nevada, Leaders in Training (LIT), New American Leaders, Teach for America Las Vegas, Nevada PTA, Educate Nevada Now, Guinn Center, Nevada Partners, and Rise Up.

We are optimistic of all that continues to be possible as we navigate the transition to in-person learning. With so many new opportunities on the horizon, we encourage you, our CORE Champions, to follow our social media accounts and stay up to date as we do good things together. 
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