World Turtle Day


Communities In Schools of Nevada and The Springs Preserve Celebrate World Turtle Day with Help from Local Author

Tuesday, May 19 – Joseph E. Thiriot Elementary

Las Vegas – On Tuesday, May 19, Communities In Schools of Nevada (CIS of Nevada), along with The Springs Preserve and Tortoise Group, will gather at Joseph E. Thiriot Elementary School to celebrate World Turtle Day (May 23) with students, thanks in large part to a recent donation by a local author.

Carolyn Ahern, a graduate of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), has donated more than 3,000 copies of books from her Tino’s Adventure book series ( to CIS of Nevada, along with over 1,000 plush turtle toys. One of the illustrated books, which chronicle a tortoise’s journey to various locations around the globe, will be read to students at the event.

“We never pass up an opportunity to educate our students and expose them to resources that may not otherwise be available,” said Diane Fearon, chief executive officer of CIS of Nevada. “Through this generous donation, and with the help of our friends at The Springs Preserve, we are able to offer these high-risk, low-income kids a great opportunity to learn a little bit more about where we live through a very unique experience.”

In addition to the presentation of the story, Rachel Van Horn, Springs Preserve zoological collections specialist, will be on hand to provide a talk on the natural history of the Desert Tortoise. Van Horn will teach students about the biology and habits of the Desert Tortoise, as well as how these animals fit into the desert ecosystem, with a live feeding demonstration of an actual Desert Tortoise.

“How many other animals have their own built-in canteen?” Van Horn asked about the Desert Tortoise. “I love how desert tortoises can go months without drinking any water – talk about an amazing desert adaptation.”

Representatives from Tortoise Group, a long-standing Las Vegas nonprofit that educates future tortoise custodians on how to treat and care for their pets, will also be on hand, passing out stickers and teaching the students about these native Southern Nevadan reptiles.

Each student in attendance will be presented with a book and one of the plush turtle toys. The remainder of the donated items will be distributed among the other 26 Clark County elementary schools over the next week.

For more information on World Turtle Day, visit the dedicated Facebook page.


About CIS of Nevada
Communities In Schools of Nevada is the local affiliate of the nation’s largest and most effective organization dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed in life. Working with both schools and the surrounding community, Communities In Schools of Nevada does whatever it takes to help kids stay in school and succeed in life. Based directly inside schools, Communities In Schools of Nevada connects students and their families to basic and critical educational and community-based resources, tailored to each student’s specific needs.

Operating in 43 school sites in Southern Nevada, Western Nevada and Northeastern Nevada, Communities In Schools of Nevada serves over 45,000 students. Nationally, Communities In Schools provides services in more than 2,200 schools in 26 states and the District of Columbia, serving 1.3 million young people and their families every year. As the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, Communities In Schools is the only program proven to both decrease dropout rates and increase graduation rates. For more information, please see our website

Keep up with CIS of Nevada events and news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Springs Preserve

Located just three miles from the famed Las Vegas Strip, the Springs Preserve is an award-winning 180-acre family destination dedicated to exploring green-living, desert life, and Las Vegas’ vibrant history through botanical gardens, interactive science and nature exhibits, animal shows, and trails offering hiking, biking and train rides. Indoor experiences include exhibition galleries dedicated to showcasing art and traveling exhibitions of local and national significance, on-site technologically advanced learning centers, the Divine Cafe and the Nevada State Museum. The Preserve hosts seasonal special events including concerts, arts shows and holiday experiences. Plan your visit at

About Tortoise Group

Tortoise Group is a long-standing Las Vegas 501 (c)(3) with a reputation of giving personalized service to current and future tortoise custodians. Incorporated in 1982, Tortoise Group reaches the community through its widespread adoption program, yard consultations, a 24/7 Hotline, monthly care meetings, fairs, school programs, workshops, and special events. Tortoise Group collaborates with tortoise agencies and clubs over the range of the Mojave Desert to improve the lives of pet desert tortoises and to preserve the desert for the wild population. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts:

Communities In Schools of Nevada

Graham McMurry

Kirvin Doak Communications


Springs Preserve

Dawn Barraclough