ML - Vegas Magazine

2012 - Issue 7 - November

Vegas Magazine - Niche Media - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.

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" I'm a firm believer that giving a child a solid education gives them a chance for life." —Elizabeth Blau THE WORD WIZARD C aroline Ciocca (FAR LEFT) knows about life's doctor means they can't pay the rent that month. essentials: air, water, and a really good book. We try to help." The group also works with "Imagine your house without a single book in it," she says. "That's the reality for many homes in Nevada." And that's why she became deter- mined to help every child start building his or her own home library and joined forces with Spread the Word Nevada. Communities in Schools has a reputation for hands-on programs that address needs and "Spread the Word not only provides books for kids," says SuperPawn's director of community relations, "they also have Books & Buddies, where people can volunteer to read to kids." Ciocca's passion for reading was fired up after watching her two stepchildren, ages 9 and 11, learn to read. (She now thinks it's a shame that during her own childhood in Massachusetts, she was more likely to read a magazine than a book.) "That reminded me how precious that is," she says. "I believe something magical hap- pens when a child is able to read and share those amazing stories with their families and friends." Reading can also be pretty fun, something she's learned during her hours of volunteer work with the kids. "We do Rebel Reading Challenge with UNLV athletics and bring kids facing hard times to the Thomas & Mack Center," says the longtime Vegas resident. "It's thrilling to sit in an arena with 7,000 kids cheer- ing because they're excited about Sounds like a win-win. reading." lizabeth Blau (CENTER) tells the story of one special third grader and how it solidified her loyalty to Communities in Schools. "This child was going to be held back a grade because everyone TEACHER'S HELPER E thought he was having learning issues," she says. "Then this organization took him for a simple eye test. All he needed was a pair of glasses to see the blackboard." That little boy and countless others have been helped by the group, which works with school administrations to provide basic ser- vices to students who need them. "If you go to school sick, you can't focus," says the longtime Wynn Las Vegas food and beverage executive. "But in many families, taking a child to the delivers the necessary resources. "We do a lot of mentoring and coaching," she says. "It's really grass what I really love." The proud mom to an 8-year-old will do what- ever it takes to prevent school drop-outs. "I'm a firm believer," she says, "that giving a child a solid education gives them a chance for life." MASTER OF ARTS T arissa Tiberti (FAR RIGHT) wants to get to the art of the matter. After working in the competi- tive art gallery scene in New York City for three years, she moved back to her hometown of Las Vegas to become the manager of the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts (BGFA). There she quickly noticed that kids in this city didn't have much fine art in their lives. Enter Modern Council, a fine-art affinity program she developed; 20 per- cent of the group's membership fee is donated to the Public Education Foundation to bring students at in-need schools to the BGFA. "We asked teachers, 'What do we have to do to get you to come here?'" says Tiberti, who is also an artist herself, concentrating in sculpture. "The teachers told us that the bus was the most expensive thing. So we said, 'We'll pay for your bus and give you free admission.'" Ask her why art is so crucial when so many kids are having enough trouble with reading and math, and she doesn't hesitate with an answer. "We want to teach kids to think outside the box," she says. "I want all children to be able to express themselves, and for some kids, it might not be through words. Kids get so much from art: Being creative allows freethinking, and with freethink- ing, the possibilities are endless." V All jewelry by Kwiat, Bellusso Jewelers, The Shoppes at The Palazzo, 702-650-2988; roots with this organization, which is Three Square's BackPack for Kids program, which sends kids who lack adequate provisions home with a bag packed with nutritious food for their weekends. VEGASMAGAZINE.COM 107

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