Blog Archives

Nebraska Reopens…Along with Early Care and Education Programs: Chantel Tonkinson Shares Her New Beginning

Children at Chantel Tonkinson's early care facility, Ladybug Crossing, create Easter projects.

Our early care providers are strategizing, struggling, and helping – even amid this potentially fatal illness. We are glad to hear and share their stories. It is undeniable that early care workers have been duly impacted by COVID-19. It is, however, equally undeniable that this demographic has proven itself to be hard-working, resilient, and resourceful.

As we spoke with Chantel Tonkinson, the director of Ladybug Crossing Early Learning Program in North Platte, Nebraska, our vision of a brighter future and eventual new beginning sharpened into focus. She is reopening Ladybug Crossing on May 11!

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Connected Youth Initiative and COVID-19: A Domestic Abuse Survivor Steps into Brighter Times

How did a young mother'and domestic abuse survivor's resolve and Connected Youth Initiative help her move into brighter times?

As we search for light in dark corners, we must acknowledge the struggles, strengths and triumphs of these youth. Each one has a different story; each one is capable of being remarkably successful, sometimes with a little support from CYI’s resources.

Recently, one young mother’s story arrives at a welcome time. Although her experience was not easy, and was perhaps exacerbated by the coronavirus, we are glad that she was resourceful and resilient enough to ask for assistance, and that CYI was there to help. Read this young woman’s story.

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

Children of the Trees: Communities, Nonprofits, and Public Institutions Unite on Behalf of Nebraska-Tree-A-Thon

On Arbor Day weekend, April 24-26, youth and their communities across Nebraska participated in a statewide Tree-A-Thon to plant and celebrate trees. 

BSB kicked off the Tree-A-Thon alongside Arbor Day Foundation, Natural Resource Districts, Audubon Nebraska, Nebraska Forest Service, and The University of Nebraska. As with any major initiative, this project constituted more than just tree-planting; BSB and its partners had a larger mission in mind. 

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Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events

No Picnic: Saffron Buettner Reveals her Community’s Strategy to Deliver 175-Gallons of Milk and 175 Loaves of Bread to 70 Providers in Two Weeks

When early care providers experienced a bread and milk shortage, how did Saffron Buettner (pictured right) and her fellow community members help? Find out.  

When early care providers experienced a bread and milk shortage, how did Saffron Buettner (pictured above) and her fellow community members help? Find out.  

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Afterschool Programs are Here to Stay: Beyond School Bells Launches New Toolkit for Any Stage in the Creation Process

Whether you're contemplating, starting, improving, or sustaining a high quality afterschool or summer learning experience, the process takes work. Beyond School Bells has launched its new Toolkit to help. For those thinking about creating an Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO), the toolkit provides planning guidelines and funding structures. To start a program, this resource contains hiring and leadership strategies. To improve an ELO, explore curricular ideas and career-readiness best practices. Finally, sustain your ELO with resources for partnerships, advocacy, and messaging. 

Whether you’re contemplating, starting, improving, or sustaining a high quality afterschool or summer learning experience, the process takes work. Beyond School Bells has launched its new Toolkit to help. For those thinking about creating an Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO), the toolkit provides planning guidelines and funding structures. To start a program, this resource contains hiring and leadership strategies. To improve an ELO, explore curricular ideas and career-readiness best practices. Finally, sustain your ELO with resources for partnerships, advocacy, and messaging. 

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Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events

Beyond School Bells Join Forces to Bring STEM to Underserved Areas

Beyond School Bells was awarded a one-year grant to participate in the Million Girl Moonshot. This initiative intends to increase the number of underserved youth in high-quality afterschool and summer STEM programs. With this STEMNext grant, BSB will join ten other statewide afterschool networks to launch this decade-long national initiative.

Beyond School Bells was awarded a one-year grant to participate in the Million Girl Moonshot. This initiative intends to increase the number of underserved youth in high-quality afterschool and summer STEM programs. With this STEMNext grant, BSB will join ten other statewide afterschool networks to launch this decade-long national initiative.

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Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events

Early Childhood Providers and COVID-19: The Nebraska Child Care Provider Relief Fund Delivers Source of Support

Thanks to the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, we and Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative created the Nebraska Child Care Provider Relief Fund. This fund provides Nebraska-based licensed childcare programs and providers with a one-time $1,000 award. These funds are designed to recognize the importance of childcare facilities during this crisis. To date, we’ve received a staggeringly high number of over 1,000 applications. 

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events
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