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Lincoln Community Learning Centers (CLCs) have been hard at work over the last year getting kids active and providing an array of extended learning opportunities for the 2023-2024 school year and summer. With the help of an intern from Wesleyan University, Lincoln elementary CLCs created a sports league with seasons for both basketball (a fall and spring season) and soccer (a spring season). Students learned basic skills of the sport once a week during practices and then competed in games against other CLC schools once a week. Teams were formed with students who had never had the opportunity to play an organized sport. Transportation and equipment were provided so that all students could have the same opportunity to participate. While being cheered on by school staff, parents, and community partners, students were ecstatic and smiles were abundant. To support this effort over the next 3 years, Lincoln CLCs received grant funding from the Community Health Endowment to continue their sports leagues.

For the month of June, Lincoln CLCs, with the help of their ten lead agencies, have been vital in extending summer school days with afternoons of opportunity with our Summer Wrap Around Programs. Each CLC site provides experiences to students in many ways including field trips, hands on activities, and swimming lessons! Some field trips include skateparks, The Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Morrill Hall, the Kiewit Luminarium, and more.

This year's Goodnight Bag Project included 4 schools, Norwood Park, Belmont, McPhee, and Pershing, and two Family Literacy groups, Everett and McPhee. The Goodnight Bag Project helps to facilitate discussions with parents to improve student bedtime routines and encourage parents to read to their students. The CLCs were very fortunate to have Parenting Partners from Norwood Park Elementary School facilitating the parent meetings -  allowing parents to talk with other parents about some of the challenges they faced and what tools were discovered to work. At the end of the night, each child got a Goodnight Bag that contained 2 books, toothpaste and toothbrush, a checklist for bedtime, and a soft toy. The CLCs are grateful to the University of Nebraska School of Dentistry and Linked2Literacy for their support. University of Nebraska football player, Chi Coleman, made a special donation of his bookFly Like Chi.  His mother, Miranda Coleman, read the bedtime story at Belmont, where she attended school as a little girl, and handed out copies of Chi's book. 


Pictured: CLC - Lincoln Skatepark Association Board

Connecting with the greater Lincoln community, the Lincoln CLC Community Team has been focused on various grassroots projects to bring innovation and opportunities to CLC students’ neighborhoods and communities. One of those projects has been partnering with the local community to create and establish The Lincoln Skatepark Association. Through that effort, community members have had a landing place to share their voices in designing, fundraising, and building Lincoln’s next skatepark and more to come! This new skatepark, to be located within the South Haymarket City Park, will be accessible​​ to all roller sports, all skill levels, and will be the largest skatepark between Des Moines and Denver. After 20 years of dreaming up this destination spot, the Lincoln roller sports community looks forward to breaking ground to build in 2025 and utilizing a completed park in 2026. Lincoln CLCs are thankful for the many local partnerships, community members, and youth that are vital in making positive change for the future Lincoln community.

Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln/CLC Collaboration

The Lincoln Community Learning Centers chose Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln (PHL) for their annual Lincoln CLC Partner of The Year Award.  PHL’s AmeriCorps members have been working alongside CLC elementary schools with the goal of teaching and encouraging students to make healthy nutrition choices, enjoy physical activity, and learning how to grow produce. PHL’s AmeriCorps program was established in 2020, and after a slow start due to the COVID pandemic, the AmeriCorps program is now able to train and supervise over 20 AmeriCorps members who serve at 12 different elementary CLC sites at no cost to the CLC programs. In addition to the current curriculums that PHL offers (WeCook, SPARK, Tower Garden), PHL is eager to introduce a new curriculum, Food Smarts, to the CLCs this fall. Food Smarts is part of the USDA’s national SNAP-Ed Connection and aligns with trauma-informed principles. The Lincoln Community Learning Centers are excited to continue this partnership with the PHL AmeriCorps program as they expand their programming for the upcoming school year.