In a partnership with the city of North Las Vegas, Square Panda Inc. donated its multisensory phonics learning systems to The Shade Tree, providing children at the shelter access to the latest educational technology tool that helps build early literacy skills and reading confidence.
The Shade Tree, which provides 24-hour shelter to women and children in crisis, was also upgraded with complete Wi-Fi capabilities as a result of combined efforts from iTech Las Vegas, DSK Communications and Well Equipment Inc.
“We pride ourselves on providing a safe place for women and children who are looking to better their lives and we truly feel that education is key to breaking the cycle of homelessness and abuse,” said Marlene Richter, executive director for The Shade Tree. “Receiving these upgrades to our building and such a remarkable reading tool from Square Panda helps us to create an environment where our clients can begin to build a brighter future.”
The Shade Tree is Southern Nevada’s only 24-hour accessible emergency shelter for women and children in crisis, providing more than 100,000 nights of shelter, supplying more than 165,000 meals every year and servicing over 6,000 women and children annually. Nearly 33 percent of the center’s clients include children who are provided with, not only shelter, but also programs designed to help with lack of self-esteem and poor social skills, as well as developmental and educational delays.
“It’s a wonderful thing when partnerships like this come together and we can work as a community to put innovative technology and resources in the hands of children,” said North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee. “The Shade Tree is an integral part of our valley and I am grateful to Square Panda and all of the partners for providing these kids with even more opportunities to better their lives through education.”
Square Panda is an award-winning multisensory phonics learning system that combines physical smart letters with a library of engaging and age-appropriate learning games that build reading readiness skills.
“It is critical to arm children with the tools to help them become fluent, confident readers,” said Andy Butler, CEO of Square Panda. “The most important predictor of a child’s educational success, in addition to their health and welfare as individuals is reading fluency. 66 percent of students are not reading at grade level by the time they enter fourth grade. There is no greater predictor of future struggles with school, law, employability and health than this statistic. That’s why we feel fortunate to provide support to organizations like The Shade Tree in delivering the tools necessary to help children pave their own path to success.”