According to the Afterschool Alliance, less than 25% of Nebraska’s students attend any kind of summer learning program. And the studies are clear – when students suspend learning activities over the summer months, they fall behind.
But don’t worry – even though the summer is nearly over, there are plenty of learning opportunities available in Nebraska. Here are our 5 favorites:
1. Nebraska State Fair
The state fair is always an educational experience. But this year’s will be even better, thanks to STEM education exhibits throughout the fairgrounds, plus Nebraska’s Largest Classroom. This self-guided field trip gives students and teachers the opportunity to enjoy hundreds of exhibits and interactive learning experiences. August 26-27 at the Nebraska State Fair.
2. The Local YMCA
While every community has different offerings, most YMCA’s offer youth programming. Even things like swimming lessons, archery and gymnastics will keep younger children on track in terms of social learning and following directions. You’ll also find:
- Plenty of arts experiences, like Pint Size Picasso and Music Mania at the Lincoln YMCA
- Day camps, like those offered in the Omaha Metro, focused on acting, art, cooking, science, sports and more
- Volleyball camp, art camp and afterschool programs at the Grand Island YMCA
3. Zoo school
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo offers a wide variety of day camps and classes throughout the summer, for kids of all ages. The Lincoln Children’s Zoo has a few spots left in some of its educational summer camps, too. The Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff also has plenty of summer camps.
4. Days at the museum
All year round, Nebraska offers historical sites that will kindle young imaginations and get them ready to learn in the fall. Put some of these spots on your summer learning to do list before school starts back up:
- The Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island lets kids walk in a different time and learn about how our state was settled. The museum even has some summer school sessions still open.
- Sign up for a variety of summer camps and workshops at the Durham Western Heritage Museum in Omaha.
- The Lincoln Children’s Museum has a ton of camps and classes still available in July and August.
- Camp Across Lincoln is a 5-day camp that brings kids to the Lincoln Children’s Museum, Lux Center for the Arts, Morrill Hall, the Children’s Zoo and Pioneer Park Nature Center.
- The Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha is still offering camps and classes for children and families.
- The Sunday With a Scientist series happens through September at the University of Nebraska State Museum.
- Check out the many science camps at the Edgerton Explorit Center in Aurora.
5. Exploring nature
The Pioneers Park Nature Center in Lincoln has some camps and classes in late July to consider. Bellevue’s Fontanelle Forest has a variety of public programs, early childhood classes and camps available.
Make sure you’re using these last few weeks of summer to promote learning for the kids in your life. These are just a few of the opportunities across the state. Talk to the schools and park districts in your community to see what else is available in July and August.