As of last month, approximately 280 homeless students have been identified within the Nye County School District, with the majority living in the Pahrump Valley.
As a result, the school district relies on what’s known as the Homeless Children Activity Fund, which provides money for expenses incurred by the students.
On Sunday, the Pahrump Moose Lodge 808 is hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to bolster that activity fund.
The event will run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the lodge’s 1100 E. Second St. location.
Included with the dinner are a bake sale and prize drawings.
Linda Fitzgibbons, prekindergartener homeless liaison for the school district, said officials rely on what’s known as the national McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program.
The program operates on a national level and strives to address the problems that homeless children face in enrolling, attending and succeeding in school.
Fitzgibbons noted that the activity fund provides for items that grant funds would not particularly cover.
“If we had a student that wanted to be in sports or cheerleading or something like that, we help pay for the uniforms that might be required of them to participate,” she said. “We also help with other extracurricular activities, including paying for field trips for kids to go on. We also have a few students that have gone on to college with the help of our scholarship fund. It’s a separate fund, but that’s how we raised the monies for those programs.”
Fitzgibbons also said the level of homeless children in the school district regularly fluctuates throughout the school year.
In 2015, the district had 311 students identified, which was slightly down from the previous year.
Fitzgibbons called the current number promising.
“It is good news,” she said. “I attribute the drop partly due to the economy being in better shape. Also, our population is little bit lower but the main thing is that the economy is getting better and people are a little bit better off. Last year we ended up with 437 students identified as homeless.”
Additionally, Fitzgibbons said she and the school district are grateful for the Moose Lodge’s efforts in providing assistance to the activity fund.
“This is the second year that they’ve done this for our program,” she said. “I am not much of a spaghetti eater but this is some of the best spaghetti I’ve ever had in my life, hands down.”
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @pvtimes