Bubbles and Blocks: How Nebraska Children and Childcare Providers Create the Foundation for Well-Being During the Pandemic

When the pandemic struck, early childhood programs found themselves in dire straits. With fluctuating enrollments, mortgages to pay, and children to care for, the future of childcare seemed unpredictable. Read about how Nebraska Children's expert early childhood team worked with providers and owners of early childhood programs like Cory Quimby to ensure they could see through to the end of the pandemic.

When the pandemic struck, early childhood programs found themselves in dire straits. With fluctuating enrollments, mortgages to pay, and children to care for, the future of childcare seemed unpredictable. Read about how Nebraska Children’s expert early childhood team worked with providers and owners of early childhood programs like Cory Quimby to ensure they could see through to the end of the pandemic.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

How Does Your Garden Grow? Beyond School Bells and Partners Reveal their New Afterschool High-Tech Tool  

Today, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation’s afterschool initiative, Beyond School Bells, and many hardworking partners aren’t just growing greens. That is to say, the Greenery is not your typical afterschool program. Read about how we're changing the face of afterschool.

Today, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation’s afterschool initiative, Beyond School Bells, and many hardworking partners aren’t just growing greens. That is to say, the Greenery is not your typical afterschool program. Read about how we’re changing the face of afterschool.

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Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events

Light and Dust: Liz Dozier, 2021 Changemakers Keynote Speaker, Shares How We Create a Better World Through Examining our Biases  

We can't wait for you to join us on Tuesday, October 26 at 11:30 am for Changemakers, featuring our keynote speaker, educator, and activist Liz Dozier!

We can’t wait for you to join us on Tuesday, October 26 at 11:30 am for Changemakers, featuring our keynote speaker, educator, and activist Liz Dozier!

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Posted in News and Events

Sweeter Every Year: Nebraska Children Thanks You for Making the Perfect Pour Worth the Wait   

You support Nebraska Children through attending our yearly fundraisers, including Perfect Pour. Thanks to you, we made this year’s event and craft cocktail competition even sweeter by sampling our state’s leading mixologists’ Tequila Avion drinks, which was this year’s mixer of choice. Read about this year's event!

You support Nebraska Children through attending our yearly fundraisers, including Perfect Pour. Thanks to you, we made this year’s event and craft cocktail competition even sweeter by sampling our state’s leading mixologists’ Tequila Avion drinks, which was this year’s mixer of choice. Read about this year’s event!

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Posted in News and Events

Sixpence: Scottsbluff’s Home Visitors and Parents Share Successes

From providing resources for parents' mental health to encouraging toddlers' and infants' developmental well-being, Sixpence home visitors help families thrive! Sixpence is a Nebraska Children early childhood initiative for children prenatal through 3. Read how home visitor Janelle Anderson works with her families to move through mental health issues, find housing, and developmentally engage their children.

From providing resources for parents’ mental health to encouraging toddlers’ and infants’ developmental well-being, Sixpence home visitors help families thrive! Sixpence is a Nebraska Children early childhood initiative for children prenatal through 3. Read how home visitor Janelle Anderson works with her families to move through mental health issues, find housing, and developmentally engage their children:

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Posted in Uncategorized

Big Hearts, Open Arms, and Long Hours: CARES Act Funding Brings Childcare Providers and Nebraska Children Together

When the pandemic struck, childcare provider Cheri Bahr was in difficult financial straits. How did CARES Act Funding and the Nebraska Children staff help Cheri and other big-hearted providers through the Stabilization and Incentive to Reopen grants? Read more. 

As we move into a new Nebraska, we envision childcare providers AND children thriving in every way possible.

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Posted in Uncategorized

It’s in the Bag: A Sixpence Home Visitor Brings Comfort to Families During the Pandemic

It’s in the bag: Lyndsey Witte, a Sixpence home visitor, brings comfort and creativity to families during the pandemic. Sixpence is a Nebraska Children early childhood initiative that works with families, schools, and children from prenatal to three to create developmentally stimulating learning environments. Read about how Lyndsey found creative ways to engage her families during a difficult time.

It’s in the bag: Lyndsey Witte, a Sixpence home visitor, brings comfort and creativity to families during the pandemic. Sixpence is a Nebraska Children early childhood initiative that works with families, schools, and children from prenatal to three to create developmentally stimulating learning environments. Read about how Lyndsey found creative ways to engage her families during a difficult time.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Sixpence: Scottsbluff’s Sixpence Home Visitors and Parents Share Successes

Read some testimonials from Sixpence families and home visitors. Thanks to their collaboration and hard work, kids thrive! Sixpence is a Nebraska Children early childhood initiative that creates high-quality learning opportunities for children ages prenatal through three. Thanks to these families’ and home visitors’ efforts, they pushed through the difficult times during the height of the pandemic.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Communication as Collaboration

If you’re a regular reader of the PDG newsletter, you’ll be aware of the collaborative efforts between organizations connected to grant initiatives, collaborations built on sometimes small moments of communication. A few that have been highlighted in the newsletter arose

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Posted in Uncategorized

Camp Catch-Up Reunites Siblings Separated by Foster Care Placements for an Overnight at Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo 

The third summer session of Camp Catch-Up kicked off from July 28-29, this time, with 40 campers. Camp Catch-Up is a Connected Youth Initiative (CYI) program that reunites siblings between the ages of 8-19 who were separated due to foster care placements.  

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

To Infinity and Beyond: Amanda Gutierrez Joins Million Girls Moonshot Advisory Board, Plans a Trip to Mars, and Takes the Next Generation with Her

Meet Amanda Gutierrez. Amanda is passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). She’s planning on being an astronautical engineer. Amanda is also one of the newest members of the Million Girls Moonshot (MGM) Advisory Board. MGM is a multi-year, national initiative organized by STEMNext to increase the presence of women of color and other underrepresented groups in STEM. STEMNext awarded an MGM grant to Beyond School Bells (BSB), Nebraska Children's initiative supporting afterschool and summer learning in Nebraska. Read about why STEM is Amanda's passion and how a trip to the moon might be in her future.  

Meet Amanda Gutierrez. Amanda is passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). She’s planning on being an astronautical engineer. Amanda is also one of the newest members of the Million Girls Moonshot (MGM) Advisory Board. MGM is a multi-year, national initiative organized by STEMNext to increase the presence of women of color and other underrepresented groups in STEM. STEMNext awarded an MGM grant to Beyond School Bells (BSB), Nebraska Children’s initiative supporting afterschool and summer learning in Nebraska. Read about why STEM is Amanda’s passion and how a trip to the moon might be in her future.  

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Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events

How Do You Open a Childcare Center During a Global Pandemic? Sixpence CCP and Kyla Habrock Have Answers

If you want to open a childcare center at the start of a global pandemic, you can refer to Kyla Habrock and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation’s Sixpence Child Care Partnership Program (Sixpence CCP).  Learn more about how Kyla, her talents, and the Sixpence CCP ALL helped her open her new center!

If you want to open a childcare center at the start of a global pandemic, you can refer to Kyla Habrock and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation’s Sixpence Child Care Partnership Program made possible by a partnership with Hastings Public Schools.  Learn more about how during the pandemic, Kyla, her talents, and the Sixpence Child Care Partnership Program ALL helped her open her new center!

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Blame It on Cakey: Bilingual Support Growing in Nebraska for Childcare Providers and Families

There are no easy answers to bridging the gap between the increasing number of bilingual families in Nebraska and a childcare system that can’t always provide the support they need. Some communities have no Spanish-speaking providers in areas with a

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Posted in Uncategorized

We Meet Again: Camp Catch-Up Kicks off its First Summer Session to Reunite Siblings Separated by Foster Care Placements 

When life gives you rain, you play foosball.  Such was the case for this year’s Camp Catch-Up (CCU), anyway, which is no stranger to obstacles.  A Nebraska Children and Families Foundation program that operates within Connected Youth Initiative (CYI), CCU remains as resilient as its campers.  Throughout the pandemic, the CCU staff continued to find creative, innovative ways to reunite siblings between the ages of 8-19 separated by the foster care system.  This year’s first Camp Catch-Up summer session, Camp Moses-Merrill, kicked off in Linwood, Nebraska from June 10-13. Read more about how campers and staff enjoyed creating fun, tie-dye shirts, and memories!

When life gives you rain, you play foosball. 

Such was the case for this year’s Camp Catch-Up (CCU), anyway, which is no stranger to obstacles. 

A Nebraska Children and Families Foundation program that operates within Connected Youth Initiative (CYI), CCU remains as resilient as its campers. 

Throughout the pandemic, the CCU staff continued to find creative, innovative ways to reunite siblings between the ages of 8-19 separated by the foster care system. 

This year’s first Camp Catch-Up summer session, Camp Moses-Merrill, kicked off in Linwood, Nebraska from June 10-13. Read more about how campers and staff enjoyed creating fun, tie-dye shirts, and memories!

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Early Childhood Event Builds Bilingual Partnerships between Providers and Families

“Speak English!” That’s the reception Angelina Fregoso received from one parent when she was overheard speaking Spanish to a child in her care, a story she recently shared with a gathering of providers who had come to hear how they

Posted in Uncategorized

Mission and Ministry: Kenesaw Opens its New Childcare Center, Thanks to its Committed Residents and Communities for Kids

Whether you’re a believer in fate, divine intervention, or hard work, Adams County Communities for Kids blends these elements. Find out how patience and faith created the perfect childcare center at the perfect time. Read more. 

Whether you’re a believer in fate, divine intervention, or hard work, Adams County Communities for Kids blends these elements. Find out how patience and faith created the perfect childcare center at the perfect time. Read more. 

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

REDI for Positive Change: Nebraska Children and Families Foundation Puts into Motion Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Our organization has long driven home our objective for all Nebraskan children, youth, and families to thrive. We also understand that we can’t achieve this goal so long as racial and ethnic discrimination exists. We put our goals in motion with a Racial Equity position statement, from which we’ve then created measurable goals.  Read more about our racial equity position statement, and what we're doing to put those goals in motion.

Our organization has long driven home our objective for all Nebraskan children, youth, and families to thrive. We also understand that we can’t achieve this goal so long as racial and ethnic discrimination exists. We put our goals in motion with a Racial Equity position statement, from which we’ve then created measurable goals.  Read more about our racial equity position statement and what we’re doing to put those goals in motion.

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Posted in News and Events

Resiliency in the Time of COVID-19: Americle Participates in Connected Youth Initiative and Pulls Through

Americle, a Connected Youth Initiative (CYI) participant, pushes through obstacles and continues to be her best self.  Although her journey hasn't been easy, this young woman who experienced foster care went on to accomplish great things, thanks to her resolve and Connected Youth Initiative programs.

Americle, a Connected Youth Initiative (CYI) participant, pushes through obstacles and continues to be her best self.  Although her journey hasn’t been easy, this young woman who experienced foster care went on to accomplish great things, thanks to her resolve and Connected Youth Initiative programs.

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Power in Numbers: Nebraska Children and Partners Roll Out the Latest Iteration of the Data-Rich Nebraska Community Opportunity Map

What tool reveals Nebraska’s well-being indicators? Whether you’re a policymaker, social worker, or journalist, the latest iteration of the Nebraska Community Opportunity Map puts relevant, timely data at your fingertips. We are glad to have played a part in this initiative, having served as The Nebraska Community Opportunity Map’s facilitator. As with any major project, the map was a group effort among data experts from many statewide agencies and organizations. Read about the map's newest features.

What tool reveals Nebraska’s well-being indicators? Whether you’re a policymaker, social worker, or journalist, the latest iteration of the Nebraska Community Opportunity Map puts relevant, timely data at your fingertips. We are glad to have played a part in this initiative, having served as The Nebraska Community Opportunity Map’s facilitator. As with any major project, the map was a group effort among data experts from many statewide agencies and organizations. Read about the map’s newest features.

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Posted in News and Events

During first year, Nebraska Child Care Referral website sees growth; new features coming to make site even more valuable for parents and providers

What began in April 2020 as a response to desperate parents seeking child care during the pandemic as well as providers who were operating at less than half capacity, a group of early childhood stakeholders collaborated to create the Nebraska Child Care Referral Network. All licensed child care homes, centers, and preschools in Nebraska can be found in the searchable database at www.NEChildCareReferral.org.

What began in April 2020 as a response to desperate parents seeking child care during the pandemic as well as providers who were operating at less than half capacity, a group of early childhood stakeholders collaborated to create the Nebraska Child Care Referral Network. All licensed child care homes, centers, and preschools in Nebraska can be found in the searchable database at http://www.NEChildCareReferral.org.

Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Raising Awareness: Sarah Experienced the Foster Care System and a Thriving Adulthood

This May, as we recognize Foster Care Awareness Month, we bring you Sarah’s story. As an organization that envisions all children, youth, and families thriving, we love to share stories like these. A young mother whose resiliency enabled her to push through life challenges as well asthe pandemic, Sarah has been a state ward for, in her words, "as long as she can remember."   Read more about how Sarah utilized her resolve and Connected Youth Initiative program to transition into a thriving adulthood.

This May, as we recognize Foster Care Awareness Month, we bring you Sarah’s story. As an organization that envisions all children, youth, and families thriving, we love to share stories like these. A young mother whose resiliency enabled her to push through life challenges as well as the pandemic, Sarah has been a state ward for, in her words, “as long as she can remember.”  

Read more about how Sarah utilized her resolve and a Connected Youth Initiative program to transition into a thriving adulthood.

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

It’s Not Easy Being Green: It’s Productive! Beyond School Bells and The Bay Welcome The Greenery, a Container Farm that Teaches Entrepreneurship and 21st Century Career Skills

On Saturday, April 24, Beyond School Bells (BSB), Nebraska Children and Families Foundation’s afterschool network, and The Bay, a Lincoln youth service organization, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for this high-tech hydroponic farm. We’re grateful to The Ben Hormel Harris Foundation, which gifted The Greenery to the city of Lincoln. The Greenery is a compact growing container created by Freight Farms, a Boston-based ag-tech company. The Greenery is the equivalent to 2.5-acres worth of farmland in its contained space. BSB and the Bay have since decided to use this cutting-edge farm to bring quality STEM learning and innovation to Lincoln!

Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events

Chasing Down and Living the Dream: Thanks to the Whole Community, Stick Creek Kids Opens its Doors! 

Welcome to Wood River, Nebraska. Their Communities for Kids (C4K) core team is proud to announce the opening of their childcare center, Stick Creek Kids. But like most dreams, the team hasn’t always walked on a smooth path. But rather than backing down, they embarked on the challenging road. Together, with the help of their community, the center’s doors will open.  Read more about how this community accomplished this remarkable feat.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

The Little Collaboration that Could

For those who have been following the series of collaboration start-ups, you may be wondering what’s on the other end. How does a partnership move from an idea to a fully realized and functional project? This month, you’ll hear the story of an idea that germinated between several people and grew over the span of five years into a multi-organizational collaboration that has found statewide success and is sprouting roots in the national community. Read more.

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Posted in Early Childhood

Early Childhood Event Builds Bilingual Partnerships Between Providers and Families

On Saturday, April 24, from 9:00-10:00 a.m. the counties will hold back-to-back Zoom sessions, one in English and one in Spanish, to inspire conversations about the bi-lingual experience in childcare. The event, titled “Supporting Spanish Speakers in Early Childhood,” offers providers insight into Latinx cultures and invites Spanish-speaking families to better understand the requirements of the American educational system and to engage actively with the providers who care for their children. Read more about this event!

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Posted in Cradle to career, Early Childhood, News and Events

Sixpence Success Story: How Sixpence Laid the Groundwork for A Young Woman to Build Her Dreams

Today, Daisy Ortiz has a story to tell. Daisy was raised in a loving, supportive family. As a teenager, she and her parents were committed to her pursuing a bright future. At 16, however, she encountered an earth-shattering surprise: she was pregnant. How did her resolve and Sixpence help her through this major life challenge? Read more in our blog, in Daisy's words.

Today, Daisy Ortiz has a story to tell. Daisy was raised in a loving, supportive family. As a teenager, she and her parents were committed to her pursuing a bright future. At 16, however, she encountered an earth-shattering surprise: she was pregnant. How did her resolve and Sixpence help her through this major life challenge? Read more in our blog, in Daisy’s words.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Beyond School Bells and Cardinal Community Learning Centers Grow the Good Life with GPA Outdoor Program

If you visit Crete Public Schools’ campus, you’ll notice a sense of life. Monarchs flitter through gardens. Heirloom vegetables thrive in the greenhouse. Cardinals return to roost in trees. This revitalization is no accident; it is the result of Cardinal Community Learning Centers’ (CCLC) outdoor education program. This lively scene is also proof that working together, as a community, we can turn old spaces into vibrant new ones while creating opportunity and abundance.   Beyond School Bells and Cardinal Community Learning Centers revitalize outdoor spaces and create quality learning opportunites, thanks to supporters like you. Read more.

If you visit Crete Public Schools’ campus, you’ll notice a sense of life. Monarchs flitter through gardens. Heirloom vegetables thrive in the greenhouse. Cardinals return to roost in trees. This revitalization is no accident; it is the result of Cardinal Community Learning Centers’ (CCLC) outdoor education program. This lively scene is also proof that working together, as a community, we can turn old spaces into vibrant new ones while creating opportunity and abundance.  

Beyond School Bells and Cardinal Community Learning Centers revitalize outdoor spaces and create quality learning opportunites, thanks to supporters like you. Read more.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Not Just Kid Stuff: Falls City Sixpence FALLS in Love with its Community and Helps the Whole Family Create Change!

If you’re ready for some good news and a new year, then Nebraska Children has a good one for you from Sixpence, one of the early childhood programs we oversee. Susan Johnson, a Family Educator and Director of Sixpence Falls City Public School has a terrific Sixpence success story! Read more to hear about how a young family overcame their housing and professionals challenges and went on to obtain some impressive goals.

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Posted in Early Childhood

Wonder Powers, ACTivate: Beyond School Bells, UNL Honors, and Partners Create Test Prep for Low-Income Students 

BSB and UNL design studios create ACTivate. ACTivate is a college-readiness progrma that pairs UNL Honors students with GIPS students. The program provides test-prep for lower-income youth and the support they need to feel college-ready.

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Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events

2021 Youth Legislative Days Meets Virtually for Young Leaders to Make Their Voices Heard

This year’s Youth Legislative Days took place over Zoom. From Feb. 6-8, young people from all over Nebraska had the opportunity to make their voices heard, network, and learn about our legislative system. This year’s event featured a mix of young leaders from the Governor’s Youth Advisory Council (GYAC) as well as participants of Nebraska Children’s Connected Youth Initiative (CYI). Read more.

This year’s Youth Legislative Days took place over Zoom. From Feb. 6-8, young people from all over Nebraska had the opportunity to make their voices heard, network, and learn about our legislative system. This year’s event featured a mix of young leaders from the Governor’s Youth Advisory Council (GYAC) as well as participants of Nebraska Children’s Connected Youth Initiative (CYI). Read more.

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Posted in Legislature, Middle Childhood, News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation is Sub-recipient of “Support for Youth Victims of Human Trafficking in Nebraska” Grant

In October 2020, Nebraska Children was the sub-recipient of a $1.5 million three-year grant, “Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking” through the grantee, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

The grant is from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). The goal is to support the child and youth victims of sex and labor trafficking in Nebraska up to age 24 and employ evidence-based strategies from Nebraska Children’s Connected Youth Initiative’s (CYI) to support survivors including unconnected youth ages 14-25.  

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Aftershock: Norfolk Public Schools’ Afterschool Program and Beyond School Bells Respond to the Community and Students’ Needs with a New Podcasting Club

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation is on board with purposeful afterschool programs like these. We are home to Beyond School Bells (BSB), a dedicated network of afterschool professionals who create, sustain, and enhance quality expanded learning programs, or ELOs.

Beyond School Bells is always glad to catch up with one of our partners and afterschool programs like Aftershock, which recently began a podcasting club. Say what you will about afterschool and summer programs, but they are anything but just babysitting. Here, kids build gumdrop towers, create robots, learn boradcasting and podcasting, and prepare for careers.

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Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events

Beautiful Moments in Collaboration

You might say it started with a beautiful moment. Stephanni Renn, Vice President of Early Childhood/Sixpence Administrator at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and Dr. Lisa Knoche, Rsearch Associate Professor and principal investigator of the Getting Ready Preschool Development Grant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools shared core principles of quality home visitation practices in a breakout room at October’s Nebraska Leadership Team meeting.

You might say it started with a beautiful moment. Stephanni Renn, Vice President of Early Childhood/Sixpence Administrator at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and Dr. Lisa Knoche, Rsearch Associate Professor and principal investigator of the Getting Ready Preschool Development Grant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools shared core principles of quality home visitation practices in a breakout room at October’s Nebraska Leadership Team meeting.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Afterschool IS Engagement: Beyond School Bells and UNL Honors Build a Dynamic K-16 Learning Pipeline

BSB and UNL Honors are partnering on two key initiatives. The first strand is that of the Registered Student Organizations, specifically the UNL Honors Afterschool Clubs, on UNL’s campus. These clubs offer students a paid opportunity to flex their experiential muscles and provide community support.

Beyond School Bells, Nebraska Children’s network of afterschool professionals, and UNL Honors are partnering to create Registered Student Organizations. Specifically the team is responsible for the UNL Honors Afterschool Clubs, on UNL’s campus. These clubs offer students a paid opportunity to flex their experiential muscles and provide community support. Read more to see how these clubs support our kids, community, and UNL students with everything from leadership to STEM to career prep.

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Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events

Sixpence in Action: In Classes, Homes, and Hearts

For the past five years, Winnebago Public Schools has teamed up with Sixpence. And they have quite a bit of success to show for it. Whereas we don’t deny the difficulties our state and world have undergone, we find these struggles, even more, a reason to celebrate the early childhood programs and people who are doing good. Read more about Sixpence and Winnebago Public Schools' successes!

For the past five years, Winnebago Public Schools has teamed up with Sixpence. And they have quite a bit of success to show for it. Whereas we don’t deny the difficulties our state and world have undergone, we find these struggles even more reason to celebrate the programs and people who are doing good. One of those programs is Sixpence, along with Winnebago Educare, in partnership Winnebago Public Schools. Today, we heard from Brittney Stansberry, the Educare Coordinator. She delivered some wonderful news about the ways Sixpence has helped her students.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Erik’s Story: How He Went from Uncertainty to a Natural Leader, Thanks to His Talents and Connected Youth Initiative

A talented person with a turbulent past, Erik participated in CYI's LEAP strategy for college students who experienced foster care. Thanks to LEAP and your support, he now thrives. Read More. 

A talented person with a turbulent past, Erik participated in CYI’s LEAP strategy for college students who experienced foster care. Thanks to LEAP and your support, he now thrives. Read More. 

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

What Has Four Corners and Can Change the Face of Nebraska Afterschool? Beyond School Bells Can Tell You

Why is our guest blogger and Beyond School Bells' Director of Partnerships, Anna Wishart, so excited for this winter? Read more to find out how Beyond School Bells, in their newest, high-tech initiative, is bringing sustainable agriculture to the next Nebraskan generation.

Why is our guest blogger and Beyond School Bells’ Director of Partnerships, Anna Wishart, so excited for this winter? Read more to find out how Beyond School Bells, in their newest, high-tech initiative, is bringing sustainable agriculture to the next Nebraskan generation.

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Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events, Teen/Early Adulthood

Braxton Crowder: A Driven Young Professional Who Went from Attending Afterschool Programs to Directing Many

As with many successful people, Braxton Crowder's journey was neither straight nor smooth. Beyond School Bells is pleased to present this interview with Braxton, whose dedication to afterschool programs mirrors BSB's mission to create and sustain them. Read how this driven young man's resolve and support from an afterschool program changed his life and created a thriving career path.

As with many successful people, Braxton Crowder’s journey was neither straight nor smooth. Beyond School Bells is pleased to present this interview with Braxton, whose dedication to afterschool programs mirrors BSB’s mission to create and sustain them. Read how this driven young man’s resolve and support from an afterschool program changed his life and created a thriving career path.

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Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events

Meet Lorena Mendez: A Sixpence Participant and Now, a Home Visitor! 

The wonderful thing about any person’s success is when she continues to create more positive outcomes for others. What we love about Sixpence success stories is how each of these participants has lived up to her fullest potential. We also love the

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Baby Steps in Early Childhood Collaboration

What do a Needs Assessment, a Zoom meeting, and developmental videos have in common? And, no, this is not the set up for a joke. The answer, collaboration. In a recent Preschool Development Grant Nebraska Leadership Team meeting, Buffett Early Childhood Institute consultant Hallie Duke designed breakout sessions for participants to spend a few minutes discussing the ways in which their aims aligned.

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Posted in Cradle to career, Early Childhood, News and Events

The New Nebraska: How Loup Valley Childhood Initiative Continues to Create Communities for Kids

Long before COVID, Ord has proven to be a place of reinvention. Most recently, one of the town’s most pressing projects has been to address the childcare scarcity. Some of the women behind this effort are Loup Valley Childhood Initiative core leaders and Ord residents, Melani Flynn, Katie Walmsley, and Kristina Foth. Read more about how these women and their community work to create quality childcare.

Long before COVID, Ord has proven to be a place of reinvention. Most recently, one of the town’s most pressing projects has been to address the childcare scarcity. Some of the women behind this effort are Loup Valley Childhood Initiative core leaders and Ord residents, Melani Flynn, Katie Walmsley, and Kristina Foth. Read more about how these women and their community work to create quality childcare.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events, Uncategorized

Compassion Fatigue: It Happens to Everyone, So How Can We Bounce Back?

Early childhood professionals are at risk for developing compassion fatigue due to the demanding nature of their everyday work, which is now paired with the stress caused by the pandemic. Not only are early childhood professionals affected in their own lives by the threat of COVID, but they also must care for children and families experiencing a wide range of effects, such as lost jobs, unstable housing, or isolation from family and friends. If you or someone you know is suffering from compassion fatigue, here are some definitions and coping tips.

Early childhood professionals are at risk for developing compassion fatigue due to the demanding nature of their everyday work which is now paired with the stress caused by the pandemic. Not only are early childhood professionals effected in their own lives by the threat of COVID, but they also must care for children and families experiencing a wide range of effects, such as lost jobs, unstable housing, or isolation from family and friends. If you or someone you know is suffering from compassion fatigue, here are some definitions and coping tips.

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Posted in Early Childhood

You Are Not Alone: Dawson County’s Early Childhood Professional Learning Series Provides Reassurance and Resolve for Motivated Staff

Many professionals, especially those who work in early childhood education and care, but also teachers of every age tend to shoulder a tremendous amount of responsibility. You walk into a classroom, make decisions, then hope that you did the right things. The truth is, no matter how skilled, every talented professional will occasionally feel alone or overwhelmed. These are the moments when the Early Childhood Professional Learning Series can help. Read more about early care providers Arlie Herrick and Dee Coble’s experiences in participating in the Series.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Rachel Pierce Attends Rooted in Relationships’ Training to Support the Next Generation of Thriving Children

Nebraska childcare providers are making headlines. Today, we bring you a success story from Buffalo County’s Rooted in Relationships initiative and a provider named Rachel Pierce, the owner of Creative Kids Child Care. Today, Rachel will share the benefits and perks of being part of Rooted in Relationships (Rooted), which is one of the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation’s Early Childhood initiatives. 

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Ripple Effect: Sixpence, Alliance Families, and Public Schools Create Positive Change

Alliance, Nebraska’s Sixpence is glad to share a story of a young family’s success. The family started off dealing with some struggles. The father had grappled with a drug addiction, had been incarcerated, and had a child from a previous marriage with whom he’d not had a relationship during her early years. How did his strength, resiliency, resolve, and a little help from Sixpence support him in his positive transformation? Read more.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

We All Thrive Together: Mary Jo Pankoke, First Lady Susanne Shore, and Partners Explain How You Bring Up Nebraska During the Pandemic

Our first virtual event, “Thrive Together,” ended yesterday. While we’re sad that we couldn’t get together in person, we still raised more than $100,000 to support our mission and celebrate the communities we serve.  Thrive Together isn’t just a fundraiser.

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Posted in News and Events

Ready, Set, Rosie: Lexington’s Early Learning Academy is Off to the Races Building Family-School Partnerships

“I love it because I understand that Mateo will integrate quickly and his academic level will progress much more quickly,” one Spanish-speaking parent comments on Ready Rosie’s educational videos for families.

The former retail space that houses the Early Learning Academy (ELA) in Lexington, Nebraska, may seem like an unusual setting for innovation in early childhood education, but this preschool program that serves children 3 to 5 years old houses such proactive initiatives as an early intervention program for special needs students and a migrant community classroom to serve English language learners.

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Posted in Cradle to career, Early Childhood, News and Events
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