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Money Pours in After School Gets National Attention | Community Spirit

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Money Pours in After School Gets National Attention
Money Pours in After School Gets National Attention

A local elementary school is looking at a much brighter future after a report about the school aired on the CBS Evening News.

For years, Whitney Elementary School's principal, teachers and students have done their own fundraising. Now with national exposure the donations are pouring in. The school's principal has dedicated her life to helping the kids in her school. Sherrie Gahn provides not just an education to her students but also basic needs like food and clothing. 

 "I started out feeding the kids, then clothing the kids, and then immunizing the kids, but the needs kept coming up. A different need kept coming up," said Gahn. "I was worried the children would continue growing up in a cycle of poverty instead of breaking it." 

Gahn believes education is their ticket out of poverty. She has paid rent and utility bills for the parents of some of her students to make sure the kids get to class everyday. She's also recruited Job Connect to come to school on Thursday's to help parents get a job. When she became principal in 2003 she noticed kids were stealing ketchup packets and plastic utensils that's when she created a food pantry. A clothing room followed shortly.

Those extra services cost money. Gahn and her staff have worked hard to collect what they can but with the school's story airing on the Evening News the number of donations have skyrocketed. Some checks are small, others are large but they all add up for the kids in need.

 "People will come in, they will donate stuff, they will donate jackets, they will do a lot for the school and help the kids," said Hayden Bearden a 3rd Grader at  Whitney Elementary. 

Donations are coming in from the Las Vegas Valley and beyond. They've received shoes from California and a check from a man in Ireland who wants to help the school raise money in his country.