The ALRS was formed 32 years ago and contributes to 12 different philanthropic programs in the Truckee Meadows that focus on assisting children, veterans, seniors and victims of sexual assault.
The ALRS awards money to teachers and schools in order to help fund projects that enhance student learning. The organization focuses on "bubble" schools, institutions that do not receive Title 1 federal funding and have low standardized test scores.
"We feel like these are the schools that need it the most," said Anne Marie Utter, chairwoman of the ALRS's Links in Learning committee. "They don't get help with money from parents nor from teachers."
Created in 2002, the ALRS's educational philanthropy, Links to Learning, gives money and other educational necessities to area teachers and schools.
"Because Sparks High School isn't a Title 1 school, we don't have the resources to purchase new technology. It makes it very tough," said Carroll. "Our technology is very minimum."
With the money, Sparks High School will equip 12 to 14 classrooms with 70-inch LED televisions that will serve as interactive whiteboards. Students will also be provided with clickers they can use to answer questions with on those interactive boards.
"The goal is to eventually outfit every classroom with this technology," said Carroll.
The ALRS contacted area "bubble" schools and invited them to apply for additional donations, like the one Sparks High will receive.
"Teachers completed the request for their classrooms. They explained how they're going to use the money and how it will benefits their students," said Sandie Barrie, Sparks resident and committee member of the Assistance League. "We'll review them and decide who will get the money."
Each teacher could apply for $300 or a group of teachers could apply for a larger amount, listed around $15,000.
Deadline for the application was Oct. 28. Roughly 200 applications from around the area poured into the ALRS office. Volunteers will read and decide which schools will get the monetary donations the following week with the money handed out to the winning schools by the beginning of December.
Last year, the ALRS gave $15,000 each to three middle schools: Sparks MS, Pine MS and Cold Springs MS.
"We have a lot of retired teachers in the ALRS, who felt the need to help," said Utter, who retired from teaching at Reno High School in 2004. "It's important to help out not only these school children but also teachers. Teachers often times spend their own money for things inside their classroom."
Outside grants help fund the Assistance League as well as the revenue earned at the ALRS thrift store, located at 1701 Vassar Store in Reno.
"An anonymous donor came in," said Utter. "It was a secret millionaire. She wouldn't tell us her name but she donated $50,000 this year and last year, asking us to help out some schools with it."
On Nov. 8, the ALRS will give books aways to 16 "bubble" elementary schools, including Juniper, Diedrichsen, Drake, Dunn and Smith elementary schools.
"We're giving over 8,000 books away, worth $68,000," said Utter.
The books are donated by the Marina Foundation in Los Angeles. ALRS will sort and deliver the books to each school, giving them directly to students.
"Sadly, many kids don't have many books at home," said Utter. "We want to get those books in their hands and get them reading."
For those schools like Sparks High School that do not qualify for government help, donations of any kind are a gift.
"The Assistance League has been supportive," said Carroll. "We really appreciate their generosity."
For more information about the Assistance League of Reno-Sparks, visit www.renosparks.assistanceleague.org.