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September 17, 2014

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Casino partnership helps school

Have you ever wondered what happens to all that change in the fountains at Texas Station?

Those coins have gone on to fund the creation of a new computer lab for one of Clark County's oldest elementary schools, C.P. Squires Elementary.

"I think it's just a great opportunity," said Cindy Bachelier, computer assistant.

The school, located at 1312 E. Tonopah Ave., opened its new lab Monday morning.

C.P. Squires did not have any computers a year ago. An at-risk site without adequate funding for a computer program, the school was unable bring the students technologically up-to-date.

Now, they've got 32 computers, as well as software, printers, modems and scanners. The students are learning to use the computers at an astonishing rate, according to teachers.

It was just a little more than a year ago that Texas Station "adopted" the school as its community partner, holding events to raise money to start a computer program at the school.

The "Readin', Writin', and Wranglers Dinner" on Oct. 17 raised $15,000. The Texas Screamer Haunted House contributed $12,000 to the program, while $885 was raised when Texas Station donated $5 on behalf of each customer who signed up for a Boarding Pass Card on National Make A Difference Day.

The most inventive fund-raising technique was the "wishing well sweep" which netted $1,000 from coins tossed into the hotel/casino's fountains. The sweep was so successful that Texas Station will donate all future sweeps to C.P. Squires.

Michada Computers supplied many of the computers and donated a computer system as an auction item one of the Texas Station fund-raisers. Michada also donated extra computers for the fifth grade classroom and all of the labor the install the equipment.

"Everyone at our company feels very gratified to have participated in this very worthwhile program," said Dave Ross, new business development manager at Michada Computers.

The students at C.P. Squires were happy to receive such a gift.

Best friends and fifth-graders Brittney Allen and Yolanda Johnson were surprised to see the new lab.

"We're thankful that they gave us more computers," Allen said.

Both she and Johnson plan to study animals with the new computers and programs. Johnson felt the computer lab was a good Thanksgiving present, adding that she wished everyone involved a happy Thanksgiving.

Terrance Hart, who was taking time from his fourth-grade curriculum to work in the lab, wrote his feelings in an on-screen message, "I like the new computer because they are fun and you can write your name."

Principal Betty Roqueni was grateful for the support from Texas Station and all those who gave their time and money.

"People have been so good," she said. "Everyone wants to help."

Kevin Kelley, vice president/general manager of Texas Station, is still looking for donors and those willing to help. He said that assistance for C.P. Squires is not just computer related, anybody may help.

"The school itself has got plenty of needs," he said.

The school is now trying to put at least four computers in every classroom, an idea that pleases Allen:

"We love going to computers and we love going to this school."

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